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Founder of Grand Fountain, U. O. T. R. Born in Habersham County, Ga. 

October 20, 1849. Died at Washington, D. C, December 21, 1897. 

Twenty- Five Years History 




United Order of True 




W. P. BURRELL, G. W. Secretary 




COPYBIGHT 1909, r.v THE 




gg N May, 1909, Dr. W. L. Taylor invited the 
undersigned to come to Richmond, Va., to 
edit "Twenty-Five Years History of the 
Grand Fountain of the United Order of True 
Reformers," the material for which had been 
gotten together by the Grand Worthy Secre- 
tary, W. P. Burrell, during the last three years. The following 
narrative is the result of six weeks' work. This statement is 
not made as an apology, but rather to give an adequate 
cause for crudeness in arrangement or expression, which may 
be found upon critical examination. The object of undue 
haste has been to have the History ready for distribution this 
summer at the great Quarter-Century Celebration of the 
granting of the Charter. Writing history is not putting a 
mass of facts into an automatic hopper and grinding out a 
narrative, however easy that may seem. 

If the question arises, "Why a book of this kind should be 
added to the great mass of literature?" we answer, "It would 
be a crime against the Race for the history of such an epoch- 
making record to be buried in the archives of the Organiza- 
tion's minutes. It ought to be put into readable form so 
that those of the Race who are young or yet unborn while 
these things are being done, may have the inspiration to follow 
in the footsteps of endeavor trod by the fathers. To have 
the honor of aiding in so laudable an object is one of great 
pleasure to us. 

We have quoted largely from speeches and reports in 
making up the narrative, because they are so woven into the 
"Doings of the Order" that it is almost impossible to ignore 
them entirely, but only so far as the thread of the history is 
found therein. 


How reluctantly have we turned away from the many elo- 
quent addresses and the apt, but side-splitting anecdotes of 
illustration found in the records. Enough eloquence to form 
several large volumes of instructive literature, and enough 
quaint anecdotes to make the biggest, funniest, pain-removing 
volume of the century, remain in the archives. He who col- 
lects and publishes them will do himself honor and the Race 
a great service. 

If all of the good that could be justly said of those whose 
sketches we have been fortunate enough to secure were writ- 
ten, it would require several such volumes as this to record it. 
We have had to curtail them for the want of space, and state 
only a few of the turning points of their lives — merely enough 
to identify them. 

Our thanks are due to the Grand Officers for assistance in 
this work. Especially are we indebted to W. P. Burrell, 
Grand Worthy Secretary, for general assistance, securing 
biographies, and for writing the first eleven years of the 

D. E. Johnson, -Sr. 


Chapter Page 

I. Early history — Beginning of work in Virginia — Brief sketch 

of the life of W. W. Browne 11 

II. A retrospective view of the origin — Recounts Organization 
in Alabama — W. W. Browne as County Deputy and Grand 
Worthy Secretary in Alabama — Browne as Grand 
Worthy Master — Address by Browne 17 

III. Rev. Browne encounters difficulties in extending the work — 

Attempts to create a General Business Organization — 
Convention called — True Reformers in Virginia — Its 
growth as a Temperance Organization — Attempt is made 
to turn the Order into Good Templars 29 

IV. Browne invited to come to Richmond — Arrives at Rich- 

mond — First meeting in Richmond — Issues call to mem- 
bers of True Reformers — Brown elected Grand Worthy 
Master of the State of Virginia — Churches and pastors 
called upon to help — Browne delivers address in which 
he sets forth Mutual Benefit and Relief Plan — Name of 
Order changed — Browne elected Grand Worthy Master of 
the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers. .. 35 
V. First fiscal year of the G. F. U. O. T. R— Election of 
Grand Officers — Report of Grand Worthy Master to the 
first annual session— Changes in the Grand Fountain — 
Active Fountains — New Fountains — The Encampment — 
The condition of the Subordinate Fountains — The lost 
Fountain — Financial conditio n — Recommendations — 

Deaths — The increase — The general condition 45 

VI. Dissensions arise — The breach is widened — Browne wins the 
fight — Officers "and Fountains unite against Browne — 
Suit is brought — Case dismissed — Special session called 
at Ashland — Findings of the Committee on Grievance — 
Result — Attempt to secure the Journal made by the dis- 
senters frustrated by Grand Worthy Master Browne 54 

VII. Some mistakes discovered — Committee on the State of Order 
reports — Grand Fountain takes decided change — Com- 
mittee on Incorporation appointed — Charter granted — 

Tranquility follows 65 

VIII. The third annual session — First plan for Class department 
— Many suits and counter-suits — The growth of the Or- 
ganization during the year — W. P. Burrell appointed 
Grand Worthy Secretary — Past Officers' Council or- 
ganized — Joining fees raised — Degree fee fixed — Remark- 
able session at Washington — Children's Rosebud Nursery 
founded — Plan of Rosebud — Class department begins 
operation — Object of Class department — Each member 
a stockholder — A general survey of the field — Endow- 
ment safe-guarded — Managed by its members 72 


Chapter Page 

IX. Many new Fountains — Much dissention — Sick and Mutual 
Treasuries united — Rev. W. L. Taylor appears as a dele- 
gate — Uniform By-Law presented for the government 
of all the Fountains — Large increase in Fountains — Rev. 
J. T. Carpenter appears as a delegate — First property 
owned by the Grand Fountain — Applicants required to 

pass medical examination 81 

X. Special care taken in selecting officers — Elections are made 
meritorious — Rev. Browne elected Grand Worthy Master 
during good behavior — Grand Worthy Master delivers 

interesting address that marks new epoch 86 

XL Decide to secure a charter for a Savings Bank — Trouble at 
Mossingford, Va. — Charter for Bank — Officers for Bank — 
A review of the work from the eighth annual session — 
All moneys ordered to go to the Bank daily — Office of 
the Grand Worthy Master and Grand Worthy Secretary, 
made jointly Secretary and Treasurer — Office of Ac- 
countant created — Prof. A. V. Norrell — Training School 
of Deputies — Remodelling of Second street property — 
Collapse of building at Alexandria, Va. — New By-Law — 
Autobiography of Browne — First annual report of Rev. 

W. L. Taylor 95 

XII. Canvassers sent out — Ninth annual session — Opening or 
the Bank — Mrs. M. E. Burrell, first Bank clerk — Report 
of Bank — Report on Fountains by delegates — Large in- 
crease in Class department — Tenth annual session — 
Burial by committee recommended — Money-stone sup- 
plants corner-stone — Noted address by Grand Worthy 
Secretary Burrell — Speeches by others 108 

XIII. Two new departments created — Regalia department pur- 

chased — growth — Dividends paid for the first time — 
Finance — Individual checks on other Banks — Remark- 
able excerpt from Richmond Times — Property bought — 
Nucleus for Old Folk's Homes — Deaths and endowments 
— Clarkesville fire — New laws — Some bright sayings.... 150 

XIV. A unique feature — A more important feature — A difficulty 

— Circular No. 2 — Spread of the Order — Deaths — Endow- 
ments — Property purchased — New regulations and laws 
— " The Plans " offered — Reasons for purchase — Some 

good sayings 176 

XV. Order prosperous, thougn battles many — Effort to keep the 
Order out of Massachusetts — Porter case — Teamoh epi- 
sode — Fraud — Daily devotionals — Training schools — 
Every department self-supporting — Loans limited — 
Finance — Fountain votes to purchase " The Plans " — 
Some of the best sayings of some of the speakers at the 

Grand Session 191 

XVI. Exhibit at the Atlanta Exposition—" The Plans " of the 
Order purchased by the Grand Fountain — New territory 
added — Great increase in numbers — Decrease in death 
rate — The Reformer changed to a Weekly Paper — Field 
divided into North and South — The savings Bank — Fund 
for Old Folks' Homes — Some notable sayings at the six- 
teenth annual session of the Grand Fountain 210 


Chapter page 
XVII. Browne's illness— Given leave of absence and Rev. W. L. 
Taylor put in his place — Browne's death — Memorial ser- 
vice in Washington, D. C. — Funeral service in Richmond, 
Va. — First official utterance of Rev. W. L. Taylor, Grand 
Worthy Master — His opening Address — Address of wel- 
come — Rev. J. T. Carpenter — Response, Rev. E. T. Ander- 
son — Statistics — Old Folk's Homes chartered — J. T. Car- 
penter, Business Manager, and E. W. Brown, Editor, 
of The Reformer — Last payment on the Regalia depart- 
ment — Election of Rev. W. L. Taylor as Grand Worthy 
Master — Speeches of J. C. Robertson, D. F. Batts, I. L. 
Thomas, W. K. Scott, W. P. Burrell — Grand Worthy Mas- 
ter's term of office changed from one to four years — 
Memorial service at the annual session 221 

XVIII. New epoch begins — Printing office transferred — Change of 
sentiment — New territory added — Real estate — New 
printing office opened in new building — Regalia depart- 
ment moved — Mercantile department established — ■ 
Growth — Deaths — Cashier's and Secretary's bond fixed — 
Exhibit at Charleston Exposition in 1902 — SOme wise 

sayings 285 

XIX. Twenty-third session in Washington, D. C. — The Reformers 
Mercantile & Industrial Association chartered in 1900 — 
Real estate — Old Folk's Homes — Woman's Auxiliary 
organized — Washington building dedicated — Some say- 
ings of delegates at Washington, D. C. — " Card System " 
introduced — Some sayings of the speakers at the annual 
session of 1904 — President's trip to Europe — Increase of 
the Organization — Property bought — Officers 314 

Oxe Word Moee 344 

The General Offices and employees of the Grand Foun- 
tain 351 

Biographies of prominent men and women 375 

List of Biographies 507 

List of Illustrations 509 

G. W. Master, Grand Fountain, U. O. T. R., and President Savings Bank of the 

Grand Fountain, 

The Early History of the Grand Fountain, 
United Order of True Reformers, 


HE early history of the Grand Fountain of the 
United Order of True Reformers is shrouded 
in considerable mystery, but upon information 
furnished us by Rev. Wm. W. Browne, the 
founder of the Organization, in its present 
form in Virginia, we learn that the original 
Order was the outgrowth of the Independent Order of Good 

It appears that early in the TO's there were established in 
the various States of the South, benevolent organizations for 
the purpose of uplifting the Negro. These organizations 
served as best they could the purposes for which they were 
created, many of them having the suppression of intemper- 
ance and immorality as their principal objects. 

Having just emerged from a bondage of more than two 
hundred years, during which time there was no school but 
that of slavery with its vile methods, the colored people of 
the South found themselves free, with no proper knowledge 
of self-support and protection. A reign of terror existed 
throughout the South, and the Negro was hunted by the 
dreaded Ku-Klux-Klan as wild animals in the jungle. 

Intemperance with its evils reigned supreme. At this time 
there appeared in Alabama a young Negro who had been 
schooled in the hard times of slavery, but who emerged there- 
from with a fixed determination to reform his people in every 
possible way, and to assist them in taking their proper place 
as a part and parcel of this great American Nation. This 
young man was Wm. W. Browne, The history of the Grand 


Fountain would be far from complete without first narrating 
some of the events covering the early life of this man. 


William Washington Browne was born a slave in Haber- 
sham county, Georgia, October 20, 1849, and lived there until 
he was eight years of age. From there he was taken to Rome, 
Georgia, and sold into West Tennessee, nine miles from Mem- 
phis, where he remained until the Civil War broke out. Hav- 
ing been trained as a race rider, he found an opportunity to 

When the Union troops reached Memphis, his owners sent 
him to Mississippi for safekeeping. He became dissatisfied 
with his new Mississippi master, and, running away, joined 
the Yankees, who were then at Memphis. He took two other 
slave boys with him. He reached the Sixth Missouri regi- 
ment, which was encamped at an outpost of the city. After 
traveling a distance of fift} 7 " miles, from two o'clock P. M. 
of the first day to ten o'clock A. M. of the second, he engaged 
himself to a captain as waiting boy. 

The Emancipation Proclamation had not become a law. He 
saw owners of slaves come into camp, claim their slaves and 
take them home. 

In referring to his escape. Mr. Browne stated: "My two 
companions being bright boys, the soldiers trimmed their 
hair and put uniforms upon them, and said they would 
swear that these boys were of them; but they said to me: 
'You are so black, you will have to look out for yourself.' 
I took their word for it, went into the city, and hired myself 
to a Jewish family. Their manner of pra} r ing was so strange 
to me that it often provoked laughter; I would sometimes 
hide myself that I might not be seen laughing while they 
worshipped. One day they caught me laughing and threat- 
ened to expose my whereabouts to my master. The next day 
I left. I knew no one in the city. Being a stranger, I wan- 

























i— i 













derecl clown to a wharf of the Mississippi river, and there 
saw a boat (The John D. Perry) bound for Cairo, Illinois. 
Some little boys were running on and off the gang-plank. I 
learned the destination of the vessel and joined in the sport 
with the boys. In so doing, I found a safe place in which to 
hide, and took advantage of the opportunity. After two 
days' voyage I found a friend who supplied my necessities 
until I landed safely in Cairo. The Lord blessed me in find- 
ing employment the next day, at ten dollars per month. 

"One day I saw a man come from Kentucky and claim his 
slave. This caused me to become ill at ease. I became rest- 
less again; and though my employer did all he could to 
pacify my mind, he finally paid me all he owed me, and more 
besides, and succeeded in getting me a situation in the Navy 
on the United States gunboat 'National,' where I was safe, 
if I would just stay on board." 

After the surrender of Vicksburg, Mr. Browne learning 
from the other sailors and soldiers that Wisconsin was a 
good place for him to go to school, went there. He remained 
there from September, 1863, until September, 1804. 

Pressed with the love of freedom for his Ivace, he again 
enlisted, and was assigned to the Eighteenth United States 
Infantry, then at St. Louis, Missouri. lie was promoted 
step by step to Sergeant-Ma j or of the regiment. He was 
mustered out of the army at St. Louis, in March, 18GG, re- 
turned to Wisconsin, entered school, and attended off and on 
until September, 1800. 

By writing to A. G. Pitner, his former master in Georgia, 
he found the whereabouts of his aged mother, who was well 
stricken in years, and who desired to see him once more be- 
fore the day of her death. He returned to Georgia and en- 
tered the educational work as a teacher, and continued to 
teach in different portions of Georgia and Alabama until 
March, 1874. 

He then enlisted in the great crusade movement of the 
Good Templars of Alabama against the whiskey ring, as 


there were more than five thousand of the members of his 
Race being convicted annually; and the cause was directly 
intemperance, and their conviction meant disfranchisement. 

He was elected to the leadership of the work among colored 
people, which position he held for five years. 

Traveling from place to place afforded him a fine oppor- 
tunity to see the conditions and needs of the people financially 
and otherwise. One of the greatest barriers to their progress 
was poverty. To overcome this hindrance, he saw the need 
of united action. Mr. Browne states: "I found a host of 
societies, too numerous to mention, that laid claim to the 
same part of the work; so every new one I met with, I would 
take time to ask their object and aim. I found that they all 
had different names — nice names, big names, long names, and 
short names; but they all seemed to have the same aim and 
object, and that was, to take care of the sick and bury the 
dead. I do not want any one to understand me to say, that 
taking care of the sick and burying the dead is not a good 
object. It is a good object for some of our societies to do that} 
but not all of them ; no more than it is right for all stores to 
be drug stores or all shops to be blacksmith shops. Again, I 
found out that all of these societies, with their different 
names, were working on the same plan, namely, that they were 
united in brotherhood, but not united in finance. They would 
boast of being connected with large organizations, but all 
their benefits would have to come from the one in which their 
membership was: and if that one went down, their benefits 
went down; and if that one were strong, their benefits were 
strong ; but if that one were weak, their benefits were weak. 

"I could not help if these plans had been handed down to 
us from white people, I thought my brain might conceive 
something better. The Lord gave me the right to try, and 
I have tried ; and if you will follow me in the reading of this 
work, I will show you some of the fruits of that trial; and 
if you stay with the Brotherhood, you will feel some of the 
benefits of that trial." 

Director and General Secretary, Richmond, Va. 




According to the ritual of the United Order of True Re- 
formers, published at Atlanta, Georgia, 1874, it appears that 
this Order was first started by the Right Worthy Grand 
Lodge, Independent Order of Good Templars of the World, 
in 1873. 

The following "introductory" appears in the Constitution, 
By-Laws and Rules of the Order of Subordinate Fountains 
of the United Order of True Reformers of the State of Ala- 

"To the Colored People of Alabama: 

"The undersigned, having been appointed by the Good 
Templars of this State to introduce and superintend the 
Organization of True Reformers in Alabama, is desirous 
of securing the co-operation of all the colored people 
who feel interested in this worthy object, and who desire 
to benefit their Race by teaching the doctrine of total 
abstinence from intoxicating drinks. We have already 
spent quite a sum to get the Order started, and now we 
have the satisfaction of publishing a new edition of the Con- 
stitution and a list of the Fountains now existing. 

"We hope to have fifty Fountains before instituting the 
State Grand Fountain, when I desire to hand over the future 
control of the Organization to competent and authorized rep- 
resentatives of your own Race, together with such supplies 
as may be on hand at that time. Any who wish to engage in 
this work, should address application for Charter to me at 

Signed: "Alonzo S. Elliott, 
"State Superintendent, Huntsville, AlaP 


From the foregoing address, it will be seen that the early 
introduction of the United Order of True Reformers into the 
State of Alabama and other States under the supervision of 
the Right Worthy Grand Lodge. Independent Order of Good 
Templars of the World, was intrusted to white deputies. 

William Washington Browne was one of the original com- 
mittee (which was composed of William Washington Browne, 
of Cross Plains. Ala.: X. M. Mitchell, of Mobile, Ala., and 
William H. Council, of Huntsville, Ala.), making application 
for admission to the Good Templars. Mr. Browne was first 
and foremost in the support of this new movement. It is 
observed from the extracts of the history of his life that at 
the time he appeared on the floor of the Right Worthy Grand 
Lodge of Good Templars of the World at Louisville, Ky., 
he appeared as an applicant for admission into the Good Tem- 
plars, and while he had not been successful in being admitted 
into their rank- a- a member, he contented himself with the 
organization granted and fostered by the Good Templars 
known as the True Reformer-. 

In his address at Richmond, April 8, 1895, he said: "I 
stepped to the floor and took the lead. Now. we wanted a 
charter from the Good Templar-, because they had a name, 
which organization i- extended through all the countries of 
Europe and all the States of America. Tt was for all na- 
tions: it worked well until it struck Kentucky and the South. 
The moment it struck the Southland, trouble arose. Negroes 
and white people do not associate together in this country; 
by the provisions in their schools, and the training around 
their firesides, they are separate." 

J. J. Hickman, of Kentucky, who was leading the American 
wing, and who was Right Worthy Grand Chief, fell out, 
while in Louisville, with Mallan, who was leading the Good 
Templars of the Old World. Mitchell, of Mobile; Wm. II. 
Council, of Huntsville. and W. W. Browne, of North Ala- 
bama, were made a committee, and went to Louisville. On 
arriving they found that the Good Templars of the United 

Director, Vice-President and Accountant, Richmond, Va. 


States were willing- that they should have temperance, but 
that it should not be the same organization. A bitter agita- 
tion ensued, which lasted for three days. Mr. Browne arose 
to the floor against the advice of Mitchell, and in his remarks 
stated: "You offer us a separate organization. You are will- 
ing for us to have a separate organization, but are not willing 
for us to come with you. Our Kace is strong, and by the God 
of Heaven, I will put her through." "Mitchell said I was a 
fool, and he was sanctioned by all the rest. I returned to Ala- 
bama, and the people there branded me with the same in- 
signia. Council and Mitchell withdrew from me. I sprang 
to the front, and from 1874 to 1879, I worked with untiring 
energy and succeeded in bringing an organization into the 
State. I carried every Conference of Methodists, every Asso- 
ciation of Baptists, and every Assembly in that State of Con- 
gregationalists and Presbyterians. 

"The 'whiskey ring' said I caused them to lose over two 
million dollars by my howling. When I took charge in 1879 
our organization consisted of forty thousand members. We 
succeeded in reducing the chain-gang from five thousand to 
five hundred annual convictions." 

In Alabama, William Washington Browne first appeared 
in the interest of the True Reformers as a county deputy, 
having in charge one county. Having worked that county 
thoroughly, he applied for more territory, which was given 
him. By persistent effort he became the foremost organizer, 
and by March, 1876, "The True Reformers" had grown so 
very strong in the State that the Right Worthy Grand Lodge, 
Independent Order of Good Templars, found it necessary to 
carry out their pledge made in 1873. Whereupon the Grand 
Fountain of Alabama was organized with twenty-seven Foun- 
tains and two thousand members. 

The following officers were elected: Rev. M. E. Bryant, 
Grand Worthy Master; William W. Browne, Grand Worthy 
Secretary; J. C. Cash, Grand Worthy Guide; W. M. Blan- 
don, Grand Worthy Vice-Master; Miss Susan Smith, Grand 


Worthy Mistress; G. W. Washington, Grand Worthy Chap- 
lain ; Dr. J. D. Betts, Grand Worthy Treasurer ; Albert Smith, 
Grand Worthy Assistant Guide; M. R. Fielding, Grand 
Worthy Sentinel; Alf. Gray, Grand Worthy Picket Guard; 
H. C. Calhoun, Grand Worthy Assistant Secretary; Rev. 
Samuel Hill, Past Grand Worthy Master. 

During the first year of the organization fifteen new Foun- 
tains were organized by William W. Browne, Grand Worthy 
Secretary ; one by R. R. Fain, and one by N. E. Taylor. For 
some reasons, the first year of the Grand Fountain of Ala- 
bama was not a successful one. The Grand Worthy Master, 
Rev. M. E. Bryant, was not a very aggressive worker and 
was unable to give much time to the work on account of his 
ministerial duties. Rev. W. W. Browne displayed the same 
zeal for the work as he had done from its very incipiency, and 
the Brotherhood was not long in seeing that the man who. 
occupied the office of Grand Worthy Secretary was a fit man 
to wear the robe of Grand Worthy Master. 

The second session of the Grand Fountain of Alabama was 
held in Marion Reformers' Hall, Marion, Ala., on February 
7, 1877. At this session, Rev. Wm. W. Browne was elected 
Grand Worthy Master of the True Reformers, and P. A. 
Parish, Grand Worthy Secretary. 

Petty jealousies arose in the organization, and while the 
work grew from this time on, there was at all times a spirit 
of unrest and antagonism. W. W. Browne, being a progres- 
sive man, looked forward at all times to the introduction of 
advanced ideas into the work, and he soon found that as a 
temperance organization alone the Grand Fountain of the 
True Reformers of Alabama was not accomplishing all the 
good that it might for the people. The following address, 
delivered by him at Marion in February, 1877, very fittingly 
illustrates the trend of his thoughts : 

MR. R. T. HILL. 
G. W. Treasurer, Cashier and Director, Richmond, Va, 


"To the Officers and Members of the United Order of True 
Reformers of Alabama: 

"Dear Brethren and Sisters, — Having placed me at the 
head of your noble organization as pilot of the ship of the 
United Order of True Eeformers, I feel it my duty to speak 
to you upon the importance of our Order. 

"We have started out on a new year of our existence and 
the second year of our Organization. March 2, 1876, when 
the Grand Fountain was organized, we had only twenty- 
seven Fountains and two thousand members. When we met 
in Marion, on the Tth of February, 1877, we numbered forty- 
five Fountains and five thousand members; but I am sorry to 
say that some of them are badly crippled, since they did not 
get their returns in at the January term, nor their delegates 
to the Grand Fountain. Also I am sorry to say that twelve 
Grand Officers embarked on this vessel with me last j r ear, 
but only three reached the port. When we look at the subject 
closely, it seems like Ave have some drones in our midst, for 
drones have never been known to accomplish anything. Offi- 
cers of the Grand and Subordinate Fountains, let us get all 
of the drones out of our midst, for our cause is a glorious 
one, and a great deal depends upon the officers. Every Foun- 
tain that I have visited where I have found a live set of 
officers, I have found a lively, industrious set of members; 
but where I found a set of drone-like officers, I also found a 
slothful, dead-looking set of members. 'Go to the ant, thou 
sluggard ; consider her ways and be wise.' This is not the day 
of sluggards. The names of our societies are Fountains. A 
fountain is always running; it sends forth its waters, pure 
and clear at all times. A fountain cleanses itself, but a pond 
becomes stale and stagnant, and has to be ditched off or it 
will make every one sick who lives near or by it. 

"Members, it is your duty to notice, and if you have an 
officer who is a drone, sting him out of the Fountain. Offi- 
cers, it is your duty, if you have drone members, to sting them 
out also. The way the members are to sting is, when you 


have an officer who is a drone to your Fountain, when his 
term is out, be sure that you do not elect him again. But 
when you get good officers, keep them. Always encourage 
those who study their duty and do it well. 

"Officers, you be sure that the drone member is not allowed 
to have the new watch-word or countersign, or be permitted 
to sit in the Fountain at the commencement of the new term. 
Dear brethren and sisters, excuse me for speaking so plainly. 
I do this for your good and because the United Order of True 
Beformers has a great work before her. The judges of our 
courts and ministers of the prisons tell us that nine-tenths of 
all the crime committed is caused by intemperance; that is, 
nine persons out of every ten are criminals because of the 
intemperate use they make of alcoholic liquors. 

"Let me give you a short history of what crime is doing in 
Alabama. In the Alabama penitentiary in the year 1875 there 
were five hundred and thirteen convicts; out of this number 
there were seventy-one whites; three of those were females; 
colored males numbered four hundred and seventeen, and fe- 
males, twenty-two. In 18TG the number of convicts was six 
hundred and eighty-eight. \Vhite males, fifty-six; females, 
two; colored males, six hundred and thirty-one; females, 

"You will remember that there is a county chain-gang for 
the small offenses that drunkenness usually brings about. 
There was convicted from the State during the years of 1875 
and 187G five thousand colored, making a total in two years 
of six thousand and seventy-seven. Did you know that the 
whiskey that they are now making is poison? Did you know 
that most of the convicts are some of our ablest and best 
young men? Did you know that these iron works, coal mines 
and farmers are turning off free labor and hiring convicts 
in their places at five dollars or six dollars per month, thereby 
destroying the free labor of the State? Do you not see that 
the price of labor is getting lower every year ? 

"At five dollars per month, a hundred will cost five hun- 

General Attorney and Director, Richmond, Va. 


dred dollars; in twelve months, six thousand dollars. One 
hundred free laborers at even ten dollars per month will cost 
twelve thousand dollars per year. All persons after being 
convicts are disfranchised. By these convicts filling the 
places of free labor, we are forced to work for five or six 
dollars per month, and it is impossible for us to support our 
families on five or six dollars per month. Just as soon as the 
employer gets convicts enough, he will say to you and to me : 
'If you cannot work at that price, I do not want you.' Do 
you not see the yawning gulf standing open, and our young 
men rushing headlong into it, thereby destroying themselves 
and us, too? And we never speak a word to check them, when 
just an effort on our part would save them. Are we men and 
women, standing still with our arms folded and mouths shut, 
to see this demon of intemperance, sloth and cowardice swal- 
low up our Race? 

"At ten cents a clay, drink will cost a man thirty-six dollars 
and fifty cents a year; at twenty cents, seventy-three dollars 
per year; at thirty cents, one hundred and nine dollars and 
fifty cents a year. One hundred men in a year, at ten cents 
per day, will spend three thousand six hundred and fifty 
dollars; at twenty cents per day, a thousand men will 
spend seventy-three thousand dollars; at twenty cents per 
day, a thousand men will spend over seventy thousand dol- 
lars per year. Do you see what intemperance is doing? We 
are losing by convicts to free labor over five hundred thou- 
sand dollars annually. We throw away in intemperance over 
six hundred thousand dollars. We know that Ave are a labor- 
ing people. All that the masses of our Race own is three 
by six feet of earth. 

"Suppose we should form ourselves into these Fountains, 
by fifties, one hundred and three hundred, uniting ourselves, 
our talent and our money; just three and a half cents per day 
would be just a trifle over one dollar per month; in twelve 
months one would have over twelve dollars; one hundred 
would have one thousand two hundred and sixty dollars ; two 


hundred would have two thousand five hundred and twenty 
dollars. Invest that, say, in land at five dollars per acre ; two 
thousand five hundred dollars would buy five hundred acres. 
"Dear brethren, if we will take unity, temperance and char- 
ity for our weapons, success is ours. Wherever there is a will 
there is a way. Let us stop playing, trifling and wasting our 
time and talents, and scattering our little mites to the four 
winds of the earth, and let us unite ourselves in a solid band. 
Let us build up a solid Brotherhood in the bond of unity, 
temperance and charity; to these live and die. I appeal to 
the mothers and fathers to join our band, for it is your sons 
and daughters who are suffering. Ministers of the Gospel, 
I appeal to you to join the band; it is from us you get your 
support, and if we suffer, you will suffer, for you cannot con- 
vert a man until he becomes sober. We appeal to every one 
to join our band ; to the politician, because it is our vote that 
puts you in office, and if things continue this way long, there 
will be none to vote for you; the blacksmith, the carpenter 
and the plowman — can you not read the signs of the times? 
Do you not see every race of mankind up and doing? We 
have an influence, let us use it to break down this demon of 
intemperance, and erect a temple in its place." 







— i 



























« r3 




About this time, Rev. Browne associated himself with the 
Rev. M. E. Brj^ant, in publishing a newspaper in Selma, Ala., 
known as "The True Reformer T This paper was run in the 
interest of the True Reformers of Alabama, and found circu- 
lation, in a small way, throughout the Southern States. 
Through this paper, he was able to instruct the Brotherhood 
along the advanced lines indicated in his address at the meet- 
ing of 1877. 

He found it very hard and exceedingly difficult to get men 
who even took kindly to his advanced ideas, to associate with 
him; and for that reason, for three years while he remained 
Grand Master of the work in Alabama, there was continued 
friction. People who had known the Organization and had 
been members of it in the form which had been originally 
handed down by the Good Templars, did not see the necessity 
of any change. They could not understand how, with the 
same mone}^ that was being paid to take care of the sick and 
bury the dead, a fund could be created from which an en- 
dowment could be paid to the widows and orphans of de- 
ceased members. 

In connection with the Reformer work, it appears that Mr. 
Browne attempted to organize a general business organiza- 
tion. In his famous speech of April, 1895, he stated : "I was 
a victim again in Alabama before I came to Virginia. While 
leading that movement, I invented a big scheme something 
after the order of the one that I have now, but under another 
f orm of government. I succeeded in getting it up, led it out, 
and stumped the State for two years. I had a hundred thou- 
sand dollars subscribed and fifty thousand dollars in hand 
to put the movement in operation. In Alabama, when you 


go to get a charter, you must have the greater portion of the 
capital stock in hand. In Virginia, they only require you 
to have twenty per cent, in banking business, and in some 
other things you are not required to have any paid-up stock 
at all. It is not so in Alabama. "When you apply for } T our 
charter, you must present more than one-half of your capital 

"I called a convention in the United States Court-room. 
All the big men of the State came. They reached the con- 
vention three days before I did. They canvassed and cau- 
cused. It was plain. I had studied it night and day; I had 
travelled two years to raise the money; I had my treasurers 
all stationed ; I had men all through the State with money in 
hand. During my canvassing in that State, I met Dr. R. E. 
Jones. The leading men of the State, politicians, stump 
speakers, all came to the meeting. When I arrived they had 
captured my meeting; and when it came to the election, they 
undertook to beat me for the presidency, notwithstanding my 
two years' work. The people being mindful of my labors 
and constant efforts, rose up in a mass and beat them. There 
were legislators among those that were beaten, preachers, edi- 
tors, and lawyers. Their defeat tended to fill them with re- 
venge, hence they stepped up to the white men who had in- 
fluence in the State and said: 'That Nigger Browne is a dan- 
gerous Nigger; you had better not allow him to get a char- 
ter; he is a dangerous, shrewd Xegro.' This, of course, poi- 
soned their minds. They knew the legislators, but the legis- 
lators did not know me. 

"I never mingled with white men. You do not see me 
among them except on business. Some said : 'He is an honest 
man'; but these men said: 'You would better not let him have 
it.' I stood still; I could not get my charter, so I called an- 
other convention. I said: 'Gentlemen and ladies, I cannot 
make it; the prejudice is against me. Here is your money; 
I have not lost a dime.' For two years I never got a dollar. 
When I came to Virginia, the money I used was the money 



Grand Fountain, U. 0. T. R., Richmond, Va. 


I saved two years before that time. I had lost my labor 
and my plans. Had I been able to put my plans through, you 
would never have seen me, unless I had come to Virginia to 
help put them through for } 7 ou and return again to Ala- 
bama. From any set of people that will treat me this way, 
I said, I am gone." 

The Organization of the True Reformers was introduced 
into Virginia at about the same time it was introduced into 
the other Southern States by white deputies. The Grand 
United Order of True Reformers appeared to have been or- 
ganized under the authority of the Right Worthy Grand 
Lodge, Independent Order of Good Templars, on August 
31, 1875. At this time, the Constitution was adopted as sug- 
gested by the Right Worthy Grand Lodge, Independent Order 
of Good Templars of the World. 

The Committee on Constitution was W. H. L. Combs, Mrs. 
Harriet Watkins and J. T. Brown. W. H. L. Combs was 
Grand Secretary of the old Templar Organization; Mrs. Har- 
riet Watkins, Grand Worthy Mistress, and J. T. Brown was 
the first Grand Worthy Master. 

This Organization grew apace as a temperance organiza- 
tion. But in 1880 there was manifest on their part a desire 
to become members of the Independent Order of Good Tem- 
plars; whereupon William Wells Brown, of Massachusetts, 
who had been commissioned by the English Aving of the Good 
Templars to institute Good Templar Lodges among the col- 
ored people of the United States, was communicated with, 
and by agreement he met the Grand Fountain of the Grand 
United Order of True Reformers at West Lincoln, Loudoun 
county, Va. 

At this meeting a motion was passed by which it was 
thought to turn the whole Grand Fountain into the Indepen- 
dent Order of Good Templars. This act was not accepted in 
good faith by all the Fountains represented, and more espe- 
cially those at Richmond. On the arrival of the delegates 
from West Lincoln, the Fountains at Richmond refused to 


endorse their action, and arrangements were made to unite 
the remaining True Reformers with the United Order of 
True Reformers of some of the other States. 

"The True Reformer" as edited by Wm. W. Browne, found 
its way into the hands of W. H. L. Combs, the Grand Worthy 
Secretary of the Grand Fountain of the Grand United Order 
of True Reformers, and in this way a correspondence was 
started between Wm. W. Browne and a committee represent- 
ing the True Reformers at Richmond, composed of W. H. L. 
Combs, Junius T. Brown and J. O. Vaughn. 







>— I 




O g3 



03 — 










At a meeting prior to January, 1881, J. O. Vaughn had 
been elected Grand Worthy Master of the Grand Fountain, 
United Order of True Reformers. He was holding this posi- 
tion at the time the Organization ceased to exist at West 
Lincoln. A committee communicated with the leaders in the 
other States, and the advanced ideas of W. W. Browne ap- 
pealed to them more than the plans of any one else. There- 
fore, at a meeting held early in December, 1880, at the Or- 
phan Asylum, corner St. Paul and Charity streets, it was or- 
dered that W. W. Browne be invited to come to Richmond. 

He left his Alabama home in response to the invitation 
from Virginia, arriving at Richmond on the 26th of Decem- 
ber, 1880. His arrival in Richmond was not a very pleasant 
one. In reference to it, Mr. Browne states: "When I came 
and landed in old Virginia, I stopped on Broad street at Mrs. 
Jackson's. I was in Richmond a day and night before my 
friends knew that I was anywhere about. There used to be 
a little lame boy who worked for Junius Brown, the under- 
taker; he took me wherever I wished to go. I had in my 
pocket the plans by which I was to start the new movement. 
It was not my intention to stay here. After landing here, I 
went to work. I found four little Fountains meeting in the 
old Orphan Asylum, consisting of the worst people of Rich- 
mond. Nobody cared for them, and when I looked at them, 
they looked like they were not to be desired. I am a man. 

"My case was similar to that of the Master, when He came 
to earth. The great men did not come to Him, but the fisher- 
men. Those men did not look as though there was anything 
in them. When He came his bed was a manger, though He 
was from heaven. I decided to stoop to conquer. I spoke 


to them and asked them : 'How much have you to give me for 
my work?' They said: 'We have one hundred and fifty dol- 
lars, and if that will do you any good, we will give you that; 
we will give you our prayers and assistance as best we can. 
We will try to help you build it.' I said : 'Give me that,' and 
they handed it over to me. I placed one hundred and fifty 
dollars in one hand and the plans in the other. I then drew 
up a contract. I threw the papers down and read it, and all 
agreed to it. I laid down the constitution and said: I will 
keep my part of the contract, if you will keep yours. I 
stepped to the head and commenced the battle." 

It took about fifteen days after the arrival of W. W. 
Browne in Virginia to get the people together in order to 
adopt the plan to which he referred in his speech as quoted 
above. When he got them together, he issued the following 
address : "The Grand Fountain of Virginia, at a meeting held 
in Mt. Olive Hall, in the city of Richmond, on the 11th day 
of January, 1881, called me from the Grand Fountain of 
Alabama, to take charge of the Grand Fountain and the 
works of the United Order of True Reformers. The call 
was ratified on the same day by the Subordinate Fountains 
of the city of Richmond in convention assembled. I accepted 
the call and the election to the office of Grand Worthy Mas- 
ter of the State of Virginia, and then recommended a plan 
of action and introduced the Mutual Benefit plan as adopted 
by the Order in Alabama, which I had the honor of originat- 
ing and introducing in that State. I ask the co-operation of 
all the members of the Grand Fountain, the Encampment 
and Deputies, Past Officers and Officers generally of the Or- 
der. I ask the help of the pastors of all the different churches 
and denominations and all good people at large, as this is 
one of the movements which, if carried into effect, will help 
to break down crime, licentiousness, poverty and wretched- 
ness, which are so prevalent throughout the country. It will 
also do much to bring happiness and plenty to our families; 
it will aid in bringing peace to the churches and communities ; 







I ° 

O « 

* ^ 
H O 

• W 

P - 






it will protect widows and orphans in the time of distress and 
want ; and will throw the broad mantle of charity around the 
whole family in the time of sickness and death. Finally, I 
ask the assistance of Almighty God, whose strong arm never 
fails, who gives liberally to all who ask in faith and whose 
cause we are helping to defend." 

The Mutual Benefit or relief plan referred to in the ad- 
dress of Mr. Browne is here presented : 

' 'Mutual Benefit and Relief Plan of the United Order 
of True Reformers of the State of Virginia. 

"For the Better Protection and Assistance of the Members 

and Families of the Order. 

"Section 1. There shall be a separate fund created in each 
Subordinate Fountain of the above named State, to be known 
as the Endowment or Mutual Benefit Fund, under the juris- 
diction and subject to the orders of the above named Grand 
Fountain, and under the protection of the several Subordinate 
Fountains from which created. 

u Sec. 2. II ow Created. — One-half of the initiation fee 
of each new member that joins the Order after the first day 
of February, 1881, shall be taken for that fund, five cents 
from the monthly dues of each member of the Order, twenty- 
five cents on the dollar from all suppers and festivals and 
excursions given by the Fountains, one-half of all fines and 
one-half of all degree money. 

"Certificate or Policy. — Xo member shall receive a benefit 
from said fund without a certificate or a policy, to be given 
by the Grand Fountain, signed by the Grand Worthy Master 
and the Grand Worthy Secretary. Each member shall pay 
one dollar and fifty cents for said certificate or policy; one 
dollar shall go into the fund held by the Subordinate Foun- 
tain or Fountains and fifty cents to the Grand Fountain, to 
be held as a Reserve fund. 

"Sec. 3. Any member's heirs or assigns holding a certificate 


or policy at the time of death of the said member,, after the 
first of November, 1881, shall draw from the said Benefit fund 
one hundred dollars ; after the Order numbers fifty Fountains, 
they shall draw two hundred dollars from the Benefit fund; 
when the Order numbers seventy-five Fountains, the heirs or 
assigns or families of the deceased members shall receive three 
hundred dollars; after the Order numbers one hundred and 
ten Fountains, they shall draw five hundred dollars from the 
Benefit fund; provided they are members in good standing 
at the time of death. 

Sec. 4. Trustees. — Three trustees shall be chosen annually 
(two by the Subordinate Fountains and one appointed by the 
Grand Master of the State), one of whom shall be treasurer 
of the Benefit fund. Their duties shall be to see that the 
Benefit fund is taken up and provided for. They shall bring 
the money to the Fountain at the last meeting m each quar- 
ter, and it shall be counted by the committee chosen for that 
purpose. The chairman of the board shall make a quarterly 
report to the Grand Worthy Master and Grand Worthy Sec- 
retary of the condition of the treasury of the Mutual Benefit 
fund ; also the number of the deaths during the quarter. The 
treasurer of the trustee board must give bond and security 
to the Grand Worthy Master and the Grand Worthy Secre- 
tary, to be approved by them, in such sums as will safely 
secure the fund. 

u Sec. 5. The Worthy Secretary of each Subordinate Foun- 
tain must keep a strict account of all moneys turned over to 
the treasurer of the trustee board and take receipt for the 
same. At the death of a member holding a certificate or 
policy, the Worthy Secretary and Worthy Master shall serve 
a written notice on the trustee board, setting forth the name 
and standing of the deceased member, at which time the 
trustee board or chairman shall notify the Secretary of the 
State and the Grand Worthy Master, setting forth the stand- 
ing, name and number of the Fountain of which the deceased 
was a member. 



t— I 


•— i 











"Sec. 6. It shall be the duty of the Grand Worthy Secre- 
tary, when he receives such notice, to notify all the trustee 
boards of the several Fountains throughout the State, and 
draw a warrant on each for four dollars. On the reception 
of the money from the several trustee boards, he shall for- 
ward one hundred dollars to the treasurer of the board of 
which Fountain the deceased was a member, also notifying 
the Worthy Master of said Fountain of the date of making 
the remittance; and the treasurer of that trustee board shall 
pay the same to the proper person or persons holding the 
certificate or policy, taking the certificate and forwarding it 
to the Grand Worthy Secretary, who will cancel and file it. 
Should he at any time call for or receive more than is neces- 
sary to pay the desired sum, the remainder shall be turned 
over to the Grand Worthy Treasurer and held in the Reserve 
fund of the Order. 

"Sec. 7. The Grand Worthy Secretary shall receipt for all 
moneys coming into his hands from any and every source of 
the Order. 

"Sec. 8. The Reserve fund shall be held to supply deficien- 
cies, in cases where a Fountain is unable from the want of 
money to pay its assessments. 

"Sec. 9. No Fountain shall be assessed less than four dol- 
lars or more than six dollars at the death of a member, and 
this to be regulated by the Grand Fountain at each annual 

"Sec. 10. The chairman of each trustee board, together with 
the Grand Worthy Secretary, shall present a written report 
to the Grand Worthy Master and the Grand Fountain of 
their doings annually. 

"Sec. 11. Trustees, if Not Re-elected. — Any trustee board, 
or member of the board, that shall not be re-elected, must 
turn over to the newly elected board all the books and papers 
in his possession. 

"Sec. 12. Should a Fountain from any cause cease to work, 


the benefited members may place their membership in any 
Fountain of the Order in the State of Virginia. 

"Sec. 13. Members desiring to change their membership 
from one Fountain to another, may do so by notifying the 
Grand Worth} 7 Secretary of the State, through the chairman 
of the trustee board of the Fountain to which said member 
desires a transfer. 

"Sec. 14. After a Fountain has been chartered, all certifi- 
cates and policies for new members shall cost ten cents each. 
All policies or certificates must be furnished by the Grand 
Fountain, through the Grand Worthy Secretary. The transfer 
cards shall cost ten cents each. 

"Sec. 15. The Grand Worthy Treasurer of the State shall 
be Treasurer of the Reserve fund, and shall give bond for the 
safe keeping of the money, subject to the order of the Grand 

Sec. 16. The mutual benefit monthly dues shall not be less 
than five nor more than ten cents, to be regulated by the 
Grand Fountain annually. 

"Sec. 17. Applications for certificates or policies, which 
must be made out by the Grand Worthy Secretary, must not 
be made until the fee shall have been paid over to the Subordi- 
nate Fountain, which will forward the name of the applicant, 
with the Reserve fund and ten cents for blank, to the Grand 
Worthy Secret a ry. 

"Sec. 18. Charter members shall receive blanks for policies 
without the ten cents fee. Other than Charter members must 
pay ten cents to the Fountains applied to for the certificate. 

"Sec. 19. This Constitution cannot be altered without the 
two-thirds majority vote by the Grand Fountain." 

It is upon this plan that the whole history and success of 
the Grand Fountain. United Order of True Reformers, rests. 
At the meeting () f January, 1881, this plan was not only 
adopted, but the name of the Organization was changed from 


P. G. W. Mistress and Grand Worthy 

Governess, Petersburg, Va. 

Director and Chief, Petersburg, Va. 


Late Director, Lynchburg, Va 


Late Director, Trustee and Vice-President 
1890. Richmond, Va. 



the Grand United Order of True Reformers to the Grand 
Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers. 

J. O. Vaughn, who was Grand Master at this time, resigned, 
and W. W. Browne was elected Grand Worthy Master. B. T. 
Morton resigned the position of Secretary, and R. O. King 
was made Grand "Worthy Secretary; Robert Watkins was 
Grand Worthy Treasurer, and Mrs. Harriet Watkins was 
Grand Worthy Mistress. Robert Watkins died about this 
time, and left a vacancy in the office of Grand Worthy Treas- 
urer, which was filled by the election to that office of Mrs. 
Harriet Watkins; R. O. King afterwards resigned Grand 
Worthy Secretaryship, and J. O. Vaughn was appointed in 
his stead. 

From this point the history of the Grand Fountain, United 
Order of True Reformers, as founded by William Washington 
Browne, began. 

In the foregoing chapters we have shown with as little 
detail as possible the origin of the name of the Organization 
and the history of such things as were then intact. We do 
not claim for William Washington Browne the founding of 
the name of the True Reformers, nor was he the originator 
of the temperance plan, but we do claim that the Grand Foun- 
tain of the United Order of True Reformers, as a Mutual 
Benefit Association, was founded by William Washington 
Browne, at a meeting of the True Reformers at the Orphan 
Asylum, at Richmond, Va., January 11, 1881. In the ad- 
dress issued in 1881 in Virginia, as well as in the address 
issued in Alabama in 1877, Win. W. Browne forecast the suc- 
cess of his work. 

This history will show by conclusive evidence that he was a 
greater prophet than he knew; that he was greater than he 
gave himself credit of being. 




From January 11, 1881, to October 5, 1881, was the first 
fiscal year of the United Order of True Reformers. The ses- 
sion was called to order at Mt. Olive Hall, 112 Charity street, 
on the 25th day of October, at ten o'clock. There were pres- 
ent the following Grand Officers: Rev. Wm. W. Browne, 
Grand Worthy Master ; Julia Fauntleroy, Grand Worthy Mis- 
tress; B. T. Morton, Grand Worthy Vice-Master; Harriet 
Watkins, Grand Worthy Treasurer; J. O. Vaughn, Grand 
Worthy Secretary, being absent, P. H. Woolfolk was ap- 
pointed Grand Worthy Secretary pro tern. 

The committee on credentials, composed of B. T. Morton, 
Julia Fauntleroy and Harriet Watkins, made the following 
report : 

"We have carefully examined the following delegates and 
find their credentials correct. Where it was necessary, we be- 
stowed the Grand Fountain degree and declared them quali- 
fied : J. W. Williams and Ellen Holmes, of Mt. Olive Foun- 
tain, Xo. 1, of Richmond, Va. ; Jeremiah Fountain, No, 2, of 
Richmond; Caroline Gilpin, Mt. Airy Fountain, No. 4, Rich- 
mond; M. X. Lee, Mt. Pilgrim Fountain, Xo. 14, Richmond; 
Annie Robinson, Silver Stream Fountain, Xo. 16,' Richmond ; 
Robert Jackson, St. John Fountain, Xo. IT, Richmond; R. T. 
Quarles and C. F. Tinsley, Mt. Zion Fountain, Ashland; E. 
W. Reed, of Bright Star Fountain, No. 19, Richmond; Eliza 
Allen, of Shiloh Fountain, No. 20, Petersburg; P. H. Wool- 
folk, King Solomon Fountain, No. 21, Richmond; Rev. J. E. 
Brown, St. Paul Fountain, No. 22, Centralia ; Julia Fauntle- 
roy, Phinehas Fountain, No. 23, Richmond. 

"Your committee also reports the names of the following 


Jr. G. W. Secretary 1S90, Petersburg, Va. 

Late Director, Danville, Va 

ci >"■•' • • 

Attorney 1890, Richmond, Va, 

Late Medical Director, Richmond, Va 


members of the Encampment, who are present at this Grand 
Meeting: Joseph Saunders, Melvina Saunders, Julia Butler 
and Polly Laundrum. 

Respectfully submitted, 

B. T. Morton, 
Julia Fauntleroy, 
Harriet Watkins." 

The election of the Grand Officers resulted as follows: 
W. W. Browne, Grand Worthy Master; E. T. Quarles, of 
Ashland, Grand Worthy Vice-Master; Eliza Allen, Peters- 
burg, Grand Worthy Mistress; E. W. Reed, of Richmond, 
Grand Worthy Chaplain ; P. H. Woolf oik, Grand Worthy Sec- 
retary ; Harriet Watkins, of Richmond, Grand Worthy Treas- 
urer; J. W. Williams, Grand Worthy Guide; Robert Jack- 
son, of Richmond, Grand Worthy Sentinel; William Fauntle- 
roy, of Richmond, Grand Worthy Picket Guard. 

The following officers were appointed : B. T. Morton, State 
Deputy Grand Master; Annie Robinson, Grand Worthy As- 
sistant Guide; M. X. Lee, Grand Worthy Herald; Caroline 
Gilpin, Grand Worthy Assistant Herald. 

The following is the first annual report of the Grand 

"To the First Ann) ml Session of the Grand Fountain, under 
the Neio System: 

"Dear Brethren and Sisters, — I beg leave to submit to you 
my first annual report of the above named Order that you 
trusted to my fostering care from the 11th day of January, 
1881, to the 25th of October of the same 3 r ear. As a servant 
of yours. I have been obedient and faithful to all the laws, 
rules and usages of the Order, and have endeavored in an 
humble manner to influence all over whom I have had control 
to do the same. 



"In obedience to your call, which I received the latter part 
of November, 1880, while leading the Grand Fountain of Ala- 
bama, I came recommending a change in the system of the 
Order, promising at the same time to accept the leadership, 
which was tendered me, if the system was adopted, which was 

promptly agreed to by the unanimous voice of the Order. 



"After being qualified as your leader, I found that it was 
necessary to make some change in the Grand Fountain, which 
was done by the consent of the Executive Board. B. T. Mor- 
ton was removed from Grand Worthy Secretary to Grand 
Worthy Vice-Master of the State. R. O. King was appointed 
Grand Worthy Secretary instead, but the trouble with Mt. 
Olive Fountain prevented him from serving. Brother J. O. 
Vaughn, who resigned the office of Grand Worthy Master 
and accepted the position of (J rand Worthy Past Master, was 
appointed Grand Worthy Secretary. He qualified with the 
understanding that since the work had greatly increased by 
reason of the change in the system, I was to assist him, which 
I did cheerfully and willingly; and though it was placing on 
my shoulders double duty, we ran well until the 1 8th day of 
March, when there was another breach made in our ranks 
by the Lord calling from our midst our honored and esteemed 
Grand Worthy Treasurer, Robert Watkins, who had served 
that position faultlessly for five or six years; this caused an- 
other removal. Mrs. Harriet Watkins, Grand Worthy Mis- 
tress, was removed to Grand Worthy Treasurer, as she was 
willing to sustain the bond of her husband, and Miss Julia 
Fauntleroy was appointed Grand Worthy Mistress instead. 


"I found this department small in numbers, but in a very 
healthy condition ; strong and determined in the work, doing 

Director and Superintendent Old Folk's Homes, Eio Vista, Va. 


all in its power to further our noble cause. Finding out their 
intention, I extended to them the right hand of fellowship and 
led them forward. They have greatly increased their strength 
and have been of noble service to the Order. Their represen- 
tatives are present with us on this floor to share in common 
the honor of the victory of our success. 


"There was a list given me of fifteen Subordinate Foun- 
tains. Some of them were greatly dilapidated, caused by some 
past troubles with which all who are concerned are well ac- 

"I found five representatives in person in the Convention 
and three by letters, with a total membership of three hun- 
dred. Those represented by letters assured us that they would 
be satisfied with whatever the body did. You can judge what 
our condition was in the commencement and whether your 
servants have worked or played. 


"I recognized the old list of fifteen numbers, thinking that 
we might reclaim that number, and I commenced numbering 
from fifteen. Silver Stream, No. 16; St. John, No. 17; Mt. 
Zion, No. 18; Bright Star, No. 19; Shiloh, No. 20; King Solo- 
mon, No. 21; St. Paul, No. 22; Phinehas, No. 23. 

u We have some three or four Conventions making up into 
Fountains. You gave me fifteen Fountains in all; five of 
them were in a healthy condition, three unhealthy, and six 
in a dilapidated state. I am sorry to say that I lost one of 
the five that you gave me, so I have returned to you eight new 
ones in its place. 


"The name of the Fountain lost was Hope Fountain, No. 3, 
located in Richmond. In the Spring a question arose in the 
Order about the old Fountains. This question was, 'Shall the 


officers who have served their term and desire to pass out, be 
clothed with the honor of a Past Officer before conforming to 
all of the requirements of the new system as it was in the 
old?' I was called upon to render a decision. Before giving 
that decision, I carefully read the old laws of the Order of 
Virginia, Alabama and Tennessee. I found that no officer was 
allowed to pass out before, or receive the honors of a Past 
without taking all the degrees. I gave my decision accord- 
ingly. The Worthy Master and Worthy Mistress, who had 
served their terms in the chairs and had not come up to the 
requirements of the law, rebelled. A portion of the members 
took sides with them and another portion remained loyal to 
the Order, while the rest kept silent. The dissatisfied element 
kept up such a confusion that all the Fountains in the city of 
Richmond became disgusted with their acts. I called the 
Executive Board and all the Past Officers in the city of Rich- 
mond. The number present at that meeting, together with 
the Executive Board and the Past Officers, was forty. After 
carefully reading and considering the law in the case, they 
voted unanimously to take up the Fountain's charter and hold 
it in custody until the Grand Fountain met. The loyal mem- 
bers were allowed to put their membership into any Subordi- 
nate Fountain that would receive them, as transferred mem- 
bers. We report our action to you for your approval or 

"I here present you with the account of the trouble, the 
decision that was rendered and the settlement, together with 
the charter and the books of Hope Fountain. 


"The general fund of the Order was exhausted. We had 
no money in hand with which to commence work and no sup- 
plies with which to work, while the Grand Department was 
in debt. We found that several of the Subordinate Fountains 
had a considerable amount of funds on hand that they were 
not using, also the Encampment. I borrowed forty dollars 



in the name of the Grand Fountain of the State of Virginia, 
which enabled us to push forward the work, We have been 
enabled to accumulate enough funds to pay the debt that we 
owed and pay back the borrowed money. We have on hand 

Editor of "Reformer," Richmond, Va. 

over five hundred dollars' worth of supplies and a little 
money. Judging from our embarrassing condition in the 
start, I believe that we are now on the road to prosperity. I 
hope you will revise the old Constitution, which will be a 


blessing to our Order in every sense of the word. There are 
recommendations which you will find marked on the journal. 


"We had only three deaths in our Order, and but one mem- 
ber held a policy, and that was in Petersburg. Seventeen 
Fountains make us fully able to pay our present policy at six 
dollars per Fountain per assessments We have sufficient num- 
ber in Convention now to meet the emergency. 


"Judging from the returns and the semi-annual reports, our 
Order numbers six hundred members. We have had an in- 
crease of three hundred. 


"The condition of the Order is good. What we need to 
make it a success is, to do what we promised ; that is, to make 
this Order a family Order that the parents and the children 
may safely seek refuge under the shadow of her wings. 
Everywhere that it has been my privilege to introduce the 
Order, the people declare that it is the easiest supported and 
the most systematic Order that they ever saw or heard of. 
They like the basis upon which it is founded and the policies 
that are paid without individual tax on each member. We 
need now to make it a success by activity on the part of our 
workers. For further explanation of the financial disburse- 
ments, I will refer you to the Grand Worthy Secretary's 

^Signed) "W. W. Browne, G. W. MP 




From this report it will be seen that dissensions arose even 
among the Fountains then in existence, and it became neces- 
sary to expel one of them. The bad feeling then engendered 
between the adherents to the new order of things and those 
who believed in the old way, grew stronger and stronger, but 
it died during the second year of the existence of the Grand 

The Encampment was a kind of Past Officers' Degree of 
the Organization. The new rules adopted governing the 
Grand Fountain made the Grand Fountain the supreme body, 
and this required that all rules of government originate in 
that body. The members who had ruled through the Encamp- 
ment did not take kindly to this change, and continued fric- 
tion was the result. 

\Yhen the Grand Fountain met at Richmond, October 31, 
1882, the report of the Grand Master showed that only three 
new Fountains had been organized during the year — one in 
Petersburg, by Mrs. Eliza Allen and W. W. Browne; one in 
Manchester, by W. W. Browne and Mrs. Ellen Smith, and 
one in Lynchburg, by W. W. Browne and Thomas L. Green. 

At the session of 1882 radical changes were made in the 
plans of the Mutual Benefit Degree; these served to further 
widen the breach among the members of the Grand Fountain. 

The Board of Directors met January 18, 1883, for the pur- 
pose of carrying into execution the plans adopted at the 
second annual session of the Grand Fountain in October. At 
the Board of Directors' meeting, there was an open rupture 
between the contending forces, one side being led by W. W. 
Browne, Grand Worthy Master, who stood for progress and 
improvement, and the other side led by Harriet Watkins, 

Director, G. W. Chaplain and Deputy-General Northern Grand Division, Richmond, Va. 


B. T. Morton, and others, who could not see the necessity of 
changing the old plans which had been in operation for years. 
The principle as represented by W. W. Browne won out, and 
the result Avas a breach in the Brotherhood, some Fountains 
taking one side and some the other. The forces as led by 
Harriet Watkins and others attempted to disband the Grand 
Fountain and to get possession of the work in the hands of 
W. W. Browne, Grand Worthy Master. 

The following Officers united in the fight against Mr. 
Browne and that portion of the Grand Fountain represented 
by him: J. O. Vaughn, Past Grand Worthy Master; B. T. 
Morton, Past Grand Worthy Vice-Master; Julia Fauntleroy, 
Past Grand Worthy Mistress; Harriet Watkins, Grand 
Worthy Treasurer; J. W. Williams, Grand Worthy Guide; 
Elizabeth Jackson, Grand Worthy Assistant Guide; Thomas 
Jones, Grand Worthy Picket Guard, and M. M. Keed, Grand 
Worthy Herald. 

The following Fountains also united : Mt. Olive, No. 1, 
Richmond, Va.; Jeremiah, No. 2, Richmond, Va.; Mt. Pil- 
grim, No. 14, Richmond, Va., and a portion of Mt. Erie, Rich- 
mond, Va. 

On the 14th of March, 1883, while W. W. Browne was on 
the field working in the interest of the Organization, a lawyer 
was obtained by Harriet Watkins and others, and a warrant 
sworn out charging W. W. Browne with having unlawfully 
removed from the premises of Harriet Watkins all works of 
the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers, 
to the value of five hundred dollars. 

This matter was tried in the Police Court of Richmond on 
the 14th of March, and it was then and there proven that 
W. W. Browne was the proper custodian of the goods in ques- 
tion; whereupon the case was dismissed. This served more 
than all the rest to widen the breach between the contending 
parties, and in order to make a final settlement of the matter, 
the loyal Fountains of the Organization requested that a 
special session be called at Ashland, Va., on March 26th, for 


the purpose of making a final settlement of the question in 
dispute. At this session the following committee on creden- 
tials was appointed: P. H. Woolfolk, Kev. J. E. Brown and 
R. T. Quarles. 

The committee reported as follows: 

Mt. Erie Fountain, Richmond, C. Gilpin; Silver Stream 
Fountain, of Richmond, S. W. Sutton; King Solomon Foun- 
tain, Richmond, L. B. Smith; Mt. Zion Fountain, Ashland, 
B. Burns; Shiloh Fountain, Petersburg, Jesse Lee; Peters- 
burg Fountain, Petersburg, Plummer Macklin; St. Paul 
Fountain, Manchester, J. C. Mackey. 

Fountains absent, but in good standing and loyal, were St. 
James, Lynchburg, and Holcomb Rock, Lynchburg. Foun- 
tains absent and unbenefited: Bright Star and St. John, of 
Richmond. Fountains engaged in rebellion with the Encamp- 
ment: Mt. Olive, Jeremiah, Pilgrim and Phinehas, of Rich- 

The members that composed Phinehas Fountain are all 
under age and under the leadership of a member of Jeremiah 
Fountain, Sister Julia Fauntleroy. 

P. H. Woolfolk, 
Rev. J. E. Brown, 
R. T. Quarles, 


The committee on grievances, composed of Rev. J. C. 
Mackey, Manchester, Va. ; Jesse Lee, of Petersburg, Ya. ; Rob- 
ert I. Clark, Centralia, Va. ; R. T. Quarles, Ashland Ya., and 
S. W. Sutton, of Richmond, Ya., was appointed. 

Rev. W. W. Browne vacated the chair and Rev. J. E. 
Brown, of Chester, Ya., presided. 

The following statement by Rev. W, W. Browne, Grand 
Worthy Master, was presented : 

Director and Deputy-General, Southern Grand Division, Richmond, Va. 


Richmond, Va., March 23, 1883. 

"To the Grand Fountain to Assemble in Ashland, Va.: 

"I do hereby enter charges against the above named Grand 
Officers, members and Fountains — 

"First, They did, on the 8th clay of March, 1883, call a meet- 
ing of the Fountains in a union meeting. 

"Second. They did then and there take up the business of 
the Grand Fountain, which is in violation to section one and 
page 2 of the Constitution. 

"Third. That they did then and there represent Fountains 
without their consent, namely, St, Paul, No. 20; Petersburg, 
No. 24; Mt. Zion, Ashland; St. James, Lynchburg; all of 
which is in violation of the Constitution, page 2, section five. 

"In the calling and assembling of Fountains, in violation of 
page 3, section one, J. O. Vaughn, Past Grand Master, did 
ignore the Grand Worthy Master, Grand Worthy Vice-Mas- 
ter, Grand Worthy Secretary and Grand Worthy Mistress. 
There is not a word in the Constitution that gave him any 
right to call the assembling of Fountains. 

"The acts of that union meeting were as follows: 

"First. They did then and there order all those Fountains 
who had not paid the assessments on the death of Brother 
Holloway, of Petersburg, not to pay it, claiming that it was 
an illegal death. 

"Second. They did then and there do away with the policy 
of the Order, taking the power of the Grand Fountain. 

"Third. They did then and there impeach the Grand Worthy 
Master and Grand Worthy Secretary, who were duty elected 
at the last Grand Fountain that convened November, 1882. 

"Fourth. They did then, and there appoint a committee to 
order the Grand Worthy Master and the Grand Worthy Sec- 
retary to turn over to them all the goods and property of the 
Grand Fountain; whereupon the committee did order the 
Grand Worthy Master and the Grand Worthy Secretary, on 


the 8th day of March, 1883, to turn over to them all the goods 
and chattels of the Grand Fountain. 

"Fifth. The Encampment claimed that, since all the goods 
and chattels of the Grand Fountain were bought with Grand 
Encampment money, they belonged to the Grand Encamp- 

"Sixth. Their orders were refused by the Grand Worthy 
Master and Grand Worthy Secretary, who knew that their 
claims were based on falsehoods and their course unwarranted 
by the Constitution. They have in hand the bills of purchase 
and the records of the Grand Fountain, all of which show con- 
clusively, beyond all doubt, that the Grand Fountain was 
owner and possessor of the claims she had held in hand. 

"Seventh. They did, on the 14th day of March, 1883, by 
order of the illegal meeting, arraign the Grand Worthy Mas- 
ter before the Police Court of the city of Kichmond upon a 
warrant or a writ of detinue. 

"Eighth. The warrant was sworn out by the Grand Worthy 
Treasurer, Harriet Watkins. claiming that all the property of 
the Grand Fountain was intrusted to her care by the Grand 
Encampment of the United Order of True Keformers. 

"Ninth. She and her witnesses tried to make the Grand 
Encampment supreme to the Grand Fountain. In court she 
and her witnesses did then and there swear that they had 
eleven Subordinate Fountains with them. 

"Tenth. They employed a lawyer and tried to convict the 
Grand Worthy Master through base falsehoods and manu- 
factured stories. 


"First. It was proven before the court that the property 
of- the Grand Fountain was never in possession of Mrs. Har- 
riet Watkins. 

"Second. It was proven also that she had never given bond 
security as the law required her to do, and the reason she took 
the course she did was because the Board of Directors de- 

Deputy-General Western Grand Division and Director, Pittsburg, Pa. 


manded of her a bond before the money should be turned over 
to her. In accordance with the Constitution, I, the Grand 
Worthy Master, did order the Grand Worthy Secretary, P. H. 
Woolfolk, not to. turn over the moneys or pay them to her 
until she had so qualified. 

"Third. It was proven in court, by the printer's bills of 
purchase matter and by the revenue bills of the Grand Foun- 
tain, that all the work for the Order had been done by order 
of the Grand Worthy Master and receipted for m the name of 
the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, and 
not in the name of Wm. W. BroAvne, the Grand Encampment 
or Harriet Watkins. Since the Grand Fountain is the highest 
court in the Order, I present the whole matter to you for 
your examination and decision." 

After much deliberation, the committee on grievances pre- 
sented the following report: 

"Ashland, Va., March 26, 1883. 

"To the Special Session of the Grand Fountain, United Order 
of True Reformers — Greeting: 

"We, your committee on grievances, to whom was referred 
the complaints and charges against several of the Grand Offi- 
cers and Subordinate Fountains, have investigated said com- 
plaint alleged against the Grand Worthy Master, Wm. W. 
Browne, by the rebellious portion of the Grand Officers, and 
find that they are unwarranted and without foundation. We 
recommend that he hold his office until the next session of 
the Grand Fountain, which meets in Petersburg, Va., on the 
last Tuesday in September of the present year. 

"We have also investigated the charges made by the Grand 
Worthy Master against some of the Grand Officers, namely, 
J. O. Vaughn, B. T. Morton, Julia Fauntleroy, J. W. Wil- 
liams, Harriet Watkins, Eliza Jackson, Thomas Jones and 
M. M. Lee. We further investigated the following Subordi- 


nate Fountains : Mt. Olive, No. 1 ; Jeremiah, No. 2 ; Mt. Pil- 
grim, No. 14, and a part of Mt. Erie, No. 4, and Phinehas, 
No. 23. 

"We find the Grand Officers and Subordinate Fountains 
guilty as charged. We recommend that the Grand Officers 
and the Fountains that have taken illegal steps and brought 
on litigation against the Grand Worthy Master, without the 
consent of the Grand Fountain, and for other wilful and 
gross violations of the Constitution and their obligations, be 
dealt with as the Constitution provides. 

J. C. Mackey, 
Jesse Lee, 
Robert I. Clarke, 
R. T. Quarles, 
S. W. Sutton, 


Brother R. T. Quarles moved that the report be adopted by 
standing vote. This motion caused an exciting debate upon 
the question as to who had the right to vote. 

The delegates from the loyal Fountains contended that 
those Fountains that took part in the union meeting which 
opposed law and order ought not to have a vote. The seced- 
ing delegates and their friends determined that no vote should 
be taken without them, and sought every means to prevent 
the vote being cast. Notwithstanding, the vote was taken, 
under a strong protest from the delegates of the disloyal 
Fountains, on grounds above mentioned. After a long dis- 
cussion, the vote to adopt the report was taken, which resulted 
in twelve for and eleven against. The vote was declared car- 
ried by Rev. J. E. Brown, presiding; whereupon Rev. W. W. 
Browne, the Grand Worthy Master, arose and asked the Grand 
Worthy Secretary for the journal, in order to settle some 
questions which arose during the debate which preceded the 
vote. Miss J. Fauntleroy came to the Grand Worthy Secre- 
tary's table and Mrs. Harriet Watkins to the Grand Worthy 
Master's table. Miss Fauntleroy asked for money to be re- 



turned to her Fountain which her Fountain had paid for 
assessments; Mrs. Harriet Watkins took the journal off the 
table and started in the direction, of her seat. The Grand 
Worthy Master hurriedly approached her, and laying hold of 
her and the book, succeeded in obtaining possession of the 
book, but not before his life had been seriously endangered 

Dr. R. E. JONES. 

Medical Examiner 1885, Richmond, Va. 

Prof. A. V. NORRELL. 

Accountant 1890, Richmond, Va. 

by the throwing of a lighted lamp in the hands of Mrs. M. M. 
Lee. The timely intervention of W. P. Burrell saved W. W. 
Browne from serious -injury, if not death. The excitement 
created by these unfortunate happenings threatened the body 
with a tumult ; whereupon the dissatisfied parties took their 
hats and coverings and withdrew, while the loyal delegates and 
Grand Officers adjourned to meet in Richmond on the 27th. 




At the session which convened on the 27th of March, it was 
discovered that five of the eleven votes cast against the adop- 
tion of the report of the committee on grievances were illegal, 
the following persons not being entitled to vote, namely, 
George Washington, delegate from the Encampment; Roberta 
Watkins and Virginia White, claiming to be representatives 
from Mt. Erie Fountain; Lucy Harris, claiming the repre- 
sentation of Mt. Olive Fountain, and Mary Dobson, of Phine- 
has Fountain. The vote proper would have been twelve yeas 
and six nays ; but allowing Mary Dobson's vote to be counted 
with the votes of all the Grand Officers, since she was Grand 
Worthy Secretary of the last annual session pro tern., the 
vote would then stand twelve yeas and seven nays. 

The committee on state of the Order presented the follow- 
ing report, which contained radical changes and recommenda- 
tions : 

"We, your committee on state of the Order, beg leave to 
make the following report and recommendations: 

"Whereas, there has arisen a division in our Order, by the 
Grand Encampment trying to seize the works of the Grand 
Fountain; and whereas, by the illegal course and procedure, 
the said Grand Encampment deceived and deluded, by their 
misrepresentations, some of the Subordinate Fountains and 
caused them to take part in their mischievous course, and, by 
so doing, have prevented them from taking their places with 
their sister Fountains and performing their duties as they 
had done in the past, and causing the losses which the Order 
sustains because of the trouble, thereby rendering the Grand 
Fountain unable to pay the one hundred dollars at present at 


the death of a member, we therefore recommend that section 
three of the Constitution, page 18, be so amended as to read: 
'that all persons who are now members of the Grand Foun- 
tain, United Order of True Reformers, should death claim 
any within the period of eighteen months from the time of 
the adoption of this report, that their heirs and beneficiaries 
receive fifty dollars on their policies within thirty days of the 
date of death of said members, and at the expiration of eigh- 
teen- months receive fifty dollars more.' We also recommend 
that all Fountains forward their assessments to the Grand 
Worthy Secretary within fifteen days* after receiving the no- 
tice. Any Fountain failing to forward its assessment within 
thirty days shall be considered unbenefited, and the matter 
shall be committed to the hands of the Grand Worthy Master. 
We would further recommend that the votes of the following 
persons that were counted in the adoption of the committee's 
report on grievances be cast out: George Washington, claim- 
ing to represent the Encampment; Lucy Harris, Roberta Wat- 
kins and Virginia White, claiming to represent Mt. Erie 
Fountain. We furthermore recommend that the Grand 
Worthy Secretary and the Grand Worthy Master put the as- 
sessment to the lowest constitutional margin. We recommend 
still further that all persons who become members of the 
Grand Fountain. United Order of True Reformers, after the 
27th day of March, 1883, in case of death within twelve 
months from the date of their initiation, their heirs or benefi- 
ciaries shall receive from the Mutual Benefit fund fifty dollars 
and shall be entitled to sick and burial fees. Should death 
occur at any time after being a member twelve months, they 
shall receive one hundred dollars on their policies." 

From this session the history of the Grand Fountain took a 
decided change, as will be seen from the report of the com- 

It developed that, prior to the assembly of the extra session 
of the Grand Fountain at Ashland, steps had been taken by 



Harriet Watkins, B. T. Morton, J. W. Williams and others 
to secure a charter for the Grand United Order of True Re- 
formers, and to this end they had employed Lawyer J. B. 


The first information that W. W. Browne and his followers 

G. W. Treasurer, Director and Trustee, Doswell, Va. 

had of this move was on examination of the daily papers, 
wherein they found that Judge Wellford had granted a char- 
ter for the Grand United Order of True Eeformers. The 
Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers 
would have found itself seriously handicapped if this com- 
mittee had secured a charter under this head. 


Recognizing the mistake of the rebellious party, and seizing 
the opportunity to make good the work of the Grand Foun- 
tain of the United Order of True Reformers, a committee 
on incorporation, consisting of W. W. Browne, P. H. Wool- 
folk, and S. W. Sutton, was appointed. On April 3d, the ser- 
vices of Lawyer George D. Wise were secured, and the fol- 
lowing Charter of incorporation was granted by Judge Well- 
ford, of the Circuit Court of Richmond, Ya. 

Charter oe the Grand Fountain of the United Order of 

True Reformers. 

Hon. B. R. Well ford, Jr., Judge of the Circuit Court of the 
City of Richmond : 

The undersigned and their associates, desiring to form a 
joint stock company' for the purpose hereinafter declared, 
with all the rights, powers and privileges conferred upon such 
by the laws of Virginia, do make, sign and acknowledge this 
certificate in writing, and thereupon respectfully petition 
your honor to grant them a charter of incorporation. 

First. The said company is to be known by the name of The 
Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers. 

Second. The purposes for which it is formed are to provide 
a place of burial for deceased members and to defray the 
expenses of their funerals ; to assist in the support and educa- 
tion of their widows and orphans, and in this connection to 
provide what is to be known as an endowment or Mutual 
Benefit fund; to give aid and assistance to Its members in 
time of sickness and distress, and for such other benevolent 
objects as may be necessary. 

Third. The capital stock of said company is to be not less 
than one hundred nor more than ten thousand dollars, to be 
divided into shares of the value of five dollars each. 

Fourth. That the company is to hold so much real estate 
as may be necessary for the convenient transaction of its 
business and is proper for the purposes for which it is incor- 

' GRAND FOUNTAIN, U. 0. T. R. 69 

porated, not to exceed in value the sum of twenty-five thou- 
sand dollars. 

Fifth. That the principal office of said company is to be 
kept in the city of Richmond. 

Sixth. That the chief business to be transacted will be such 
as is necessary for the purpose hereinbefore specified. 

Seventh. That the names and residences of the officers and 
directors who, for the first year, are to manage the affairs 
of the company are : 


Rev. W. W. Browne, Richmond, Va., G. W. Master; Eliza 
Allen, Petersburg, Va., G. W. Mistress ; R. T. Quarles, Ashland, 
Va., G. W. Vice-Master; S. W. Sutton Richmond, Va., G. W. 
Chaplain; Peter H. Woolfolk, Richmond, Va., G. W. Secre- 
tary; Robert I. Clark, Centralia, Chesterfield county, Va., 
G. W. Treasurer. 


Rev. Wm. W. Browne, Richmond, Va. ; Eliza Allen, Peters- 
burg, Va. ; R. T. Quarles, Ashland, Va. ; S. W. Sutton, Rich- 
mond, Va. ; Peter H. Woolfolk, Richmond, Va. ; Robert I. 
Clarke, Centralia, Va. ; Rev. J. C. Mackey, Manchester, Va. ; 
Rev. J. E. Brown, Chester Va. ; George Crawford, Richmond, 
Va. ; Clarke Davenport, Lynchburg, Va. ; L. B. Smith, Rich- 
mond, Va. ; M. A. Berry, Petersburg, Va. 

Given under our hands this 14th day of April, 1883. 

Laura B. Smith, 
Wm. W. Browne, 
P. H. Woolfolk, 
George Crawford (His X Mark) 
'S. W. Sutton (His X Mark) 
Witness as to George Crawford — W. W. Cosby, Jr. 
Witness as to S. W. Sutton— W. W. Cosby, Jr. 

Having purified itself and cut off all the rebellious factions, 
the Grand Fountain was now ready for business. 


Late Vice Grand "Worthy Master, Director and Deputy-General of the Southern 

and "Western Grand Divisions. 


Nothing of very great moment occurred from March, 1883, 
until October of the same year. All of this time was spent in 
repairing the broken fences, clearing the muddy waters, as it 
were, and laying plans for the future success of the Organiza- 




The third annual session of the Grand Fountain convened 
at the Oak Street Methodist Church, Petersburg, Va., on 
September 25, 1883. There were represented at this session 
twelve Fountains, with nine delegates, besides the Grand 

The first plan for the Class department was presented at 
this session by Rev. Wm. W. Browne. In the first Constitu- 
tion of the Organization it was provided that the Fountains 
should pay a death benefit of from one hundred dollars to 
five hundred dollars, but experience soon taught that it would 
be impossible to do this in the Fountain department, so it 
was determined to organize a separate department, to be 
known as the Class department. A rough sketch of the rates 
and policies was presented and discussed at this session. 
Nothing definite was done, however, as it was considered im- 
possible to add this new department to the Organization, 
since it had not yet fully recovered from the special session 
at Ashland in March. 

During the years 1883 and 1884 numerous suits and counter- 
suits were engaged in between the Grand Fountain and the 
representatives of the Grand United Order of True Reform- 
ers. All of these suits, without exception, were decided in 
favor of the Grand Fountain. 

The growth of the Organization during the year was slow 
but steady, and when the fourth annual session was held in 
Richmond, Va., on September 30, 188-1, there were twenty- 
nine Fountains on roll, being an increase of fourteen since the 
annual meeting at Petersburg, Va., in 1883. 

During this year the Organization was introduced in Fred- 
ericksburg, Va., Hanover Junction, Va., Washington, D. C, 



and Newport News, Va. The most noted accession to the 
Organization was Washington, D. C. The Grand United 
Order of True Reformers, through its deputies, organized 
quite a number of Fountains in Washington, and Mrs. Emily 
Monroe and Rev. Robert Johnson were among the leaders 

Late G. W. Chaplain and Director, Richmond, Va. 

who had been foremost in organizing for them. Mrs. Emily 
Monroe heard of the Organization through friends in Fred- 
ericksburg, and began correspondence with Rev. W. W. 
Browne, which resulted in three Fountains turning over in a 
body from the Grand United Order of True Reformers to the 


Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Eeformers. 
This was the starting of the great work at Washington, D. C. 

In May, 1884, Mr. W. P. Burrell was appointed Grand 
Worthy Secretary to fill the unexpired term of P. H. Wool- 

The receipts for the year, as shown from the report of the 
Grand Worthy Secretary were four hundred and seventy- 
three dollars and forty-three cents. During the year 1884 
the first Past Officers' Council of the Organization was organ- 
ized at Richmond, Va. This Council acted as an Advisory 
Board to the Grand Worthy Master in all of his transactions. 

The joining fee, which had been two dollars and fifty cents, 
was raised at the annual session of 1881 to four dollars and 
ten cents, for persons from forty-five to fifty years of age; 
four dollars and sixty cents, from fifty to fifty-five years, and 
five dollars and ten cents, from fifty-five to sixty years. The 
arrangement of the degree fee was also fixed at this session. 

The following items of note were found in the report of the 
Committee on Constitution and By-Laws: Two hundred, 
three hundred, four hundred and five hundred dollars have 
been put into Classes. This was found to be the first record 
of the beginning of this new department. 

In the years 1884 and 1885, twenty-two new Fountains were 
organized, making a total of fifty-one Fountains at the time 
of the meeting of the Grand Fountain at Washington in Sep- 
tember, 1885. 

The Washington session of 1885 was a very remarkable one ; 
especially was this so because it was at this session that the 
Eosebud department of the Organization was established and 
put into operation, with Rev. W. W. Browne, General Super- 
intendent ; Mrs. Eliza Allen, Governess, and Mrs. M. A. 
Berry, Junior Grand Worthy Secretary. 

This department was organized for the purpose of furnish- 
ing a place of training for the children of the Race, where 
they might be taught the habits of thrift and self-reliance. 
The following address issued by the Rosebud Board of Man- 


agers will be found interesting, no doubt, to our readers, by 
reason of the fact that in this address the future of this de- 
partment is outlined, and while in after years it was changed 
materially, yet as a matter of history, it is well to know how 
it was begun. 


"Seeing the great need of reform among our children in 
teaching them that there is a higher and nobler purpose for 
which they can use some of their pennies besides spending 
them all for delicacies and toys ; teaching them to unite them- 
selves together in the bond of union and love, and to assist 
each other in sickness, sorrow and afflictions and in the strug- 
gles of life; teaching them that one's happiness greatly de- 
pends upon the others, and that when they have arrived at 
the age of maturity, instead of looking back and seeing the 
earnings of their childhood spent in broken dolls and toys), 
they will have their earnings carefully put away to assist 
them in the journey of life. In so doing they will have minds 
stored with a useful knowledge of economy and things that 
will make their peace and happiness on earth and in the 
world to come. We call attention to the adage, 'Save the 
cents, and the dollars will take care of themselves.' Save 
the children, and the men and women will take care of them- 
selves. The Bible says, 'Train up a child in the way he should 
go. and when he is old he will not depart from it.' Teach 
the child how to use the cents, and he will learn how to use 
the dollars. 

"Teach them to live united and love one another, and they 
will not grow up with petty animosities in their hearts, find- 
ing delight in working contrary to each other, by talking, 
plotting and planning one against the other. The children of 
different families will know how to forgive one another's 
follies and shortcomings and how to talk, plot and plan for 
one another's peace and happiness in the journey of life. 

"Teach them to care for the sick and afflicted, relieve and 

':'-■ SnraBffiMfi 



: -■ 


Wife Grand Worthy Master, Richmond, Va. 


comfort the distressed, and bear each other's burdens. Teach 
them to so bind and tie their love and affections together that 
one's sorrow may be the other's sorrow, one's distress be the 
other's distress, one's penny the other's penny, remembering the 
Divine command : 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all 
thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, with all thy 
strength, and thy neighbor as thyself; and, 'Do unto others 
as you would have them do unto you.' 

5 JJ 

The Class department of the Grand Fountain was also put 
into operation at this session. Four classes were established, 
known as B, two hundred dollars; C, three hundred dollars; 
D, four hundred dollars, and E,.five hundred dollars. 

The following persons were elected treasurers of the differ- 
ent Class departments: Class B, Alexander Smith, of Rich- 
mond, Va. ; Class C, James Allen, of Petersburg, Va. ; Class 
D, Mrs. M. A. Berry, of Petersburg, Va. ; Class E, Clarke 
Davenport, of Lynchburg, Va. Dr. R. E. Jones, of Richmond, 
Va., was elected medical examiner for the Class department. 
Persons were admitted to membership from fourteen to sixty 
years of age. In the pamphlet carrying the first information 
of the Classes, the following address was issued: 

"The great object of the Classes of this association is to 
pay an endowment to the relatives and friends of our de- 
ceased members and the establishment of business for the 
purpose of securing homes and occupation for the Brother- 
hood. The association is set upon a plain business basis. It 
is intended that the surplus arising from the Classes shall be 
declared into dividends, to be divided among the members, 
thus making each member a stockholder. The shares or profits 
shall be invested in any laudable and profitable enterprise the 
association may see fit. 

"We have a great many societies, but few of them do more 
than take care of the sick and bury the dead. In so doing 
they expend thousands of dollars in parade and show, leaving 


the families of our deceased brothers and sisters to suffer. 
The time has come when we must learn the fact that 'money 
is power,' and that it will not do for us to throw away our 
power in trifles any longer. 

"What if the money we have thrown away in parade and 
show had been spent in securing property and land? Do you 
not think our condition as a people would have been much 
better? Yes. "Where we are not worth cents, we should be 
worth dollars ; and where Ave are not worth a foot of land, we 
should be worth hundreds of acres. Some of us spend from 
five to twenty dollars for regalias when much less would 
answer our purpose just as well. "We can buy land in the 
city for two dollars per foot and upwards, and in the country 
from three dollars per acre upwards. Now suppose one hun- 
dred men spend ten dollars each in land at ten dollars per 
acre; they will have a hundred acres of land; another hun- 
dred buy one hundred pieces of regalia at ten dollars apiece; 
they will be worth a thousand dollars in regalia. Which will 
bring the most in the market at all times? "Which will assist 
the families most? If not biased, you must answer, 'The 
land is the best property, and the best thing in which to 

"Let us take the example of the better class of white peo- 
ple; they have no sympathy for these little petty, short-lived 
insurance companies that spring up like a mushroom and die 
in the morning. They organize themselves into endowment 
institutions, such as the 'Royal Arcanum,' 'Christian Brother- 
hood,' 'Knights of Honor,' and 'Legions of Honor,' together 
with several other endowment orders too numerous to men- 
tion here. These endowment institutions are run on a business 
principle like ours, with the exception that our financial scale 
is much lower, which is due to the fact that our income is 
much smaller than that of the whites. 

"There have been two or three endowment associations 
started by our people on the same financial basis as those of 
the whites, but these have gone down by reason of the fact 



that the financial burdens were too heavy for the people to 
carry; in short, it was the load of an elephant on the back 
of a pony. 

"The endowment of this association is well guarded, and 
all may seek their places according to their financial strength. 
Should you find a little time to give it your attention as others 

Past G. W. Mistress and wife of the late W. W. Browne, Richmond, Va. 

have done, you will see that it is based upon the principle of 
honesty and fair dealing, and is destined to become a power- 
ful and long-lived association. 

"This association is managed and controlled by its mem- 
bers. In this way you are not worried by weekly collectors, 
who care nothing for you but to get your money. You are 
supporting an association for yourselves. An old adage is 


'Make haste to be slow.' You should be slow to build up those 
who feed upon your carcasses and speculate upon your weak- 
ness. If you notice our scale you will see that we give you 
more for your money than is given in any of the ten-cents-a- 
week concerns. They charge you four dollars and seventy- 
five cents annually for two hundred dollars; you will find 
the same difference throughout the world if you will compare 
the scales. 

"We are a poor j:>eople, with nothing to leave our children 
financially, to assist them in the struggle of life. There is no 
parent but would like to leave something to keep the wolf 
from the door, and who would not die more contented know- 
ing that he had left something to keep his children out of 
the gulf of poverty. 

"We have been freed from the shackles of bondage, still 
we are enslaved by small wages and a scarcity of labor. It is 
too late for many of us to amass a fortune to which our chil- 
dren might become heirs; yet by a small yearly cost in our 
association you are able to make them heirs to a few hundred 
dollars at least, which, properly used, may bring to them a 
happy and comfortable living." 




From September, 1885, to September, 1886, there were or- 
ganized twenty-five new Fountains, making seventy-six on 
roll at the meeting of the Grand Fountain at Fredericksburg 
on the 7th day of September, 1886. 

During the years 1885 and 1886 there were numerous dis- 
sensions in the Organization and considerable unrest, espe- 
cially as to the subject of office-holding. 

Prior to the session of 1886 the Grand Fountain paid an 
endowment of from fifty to one hundred dollars from the 
mutual treasury of the various Fountains, while the twenty- 
five dollars burial fee was paid by each individual Fountain. 
If the treasury of the Fountain having a death was too weak 
to pay the twenty-five dollars, then there was no way for the 
family to get it, except by waiting for the Fountain to take 
it up in dues. In order to remedy this condition of affairs, 
Rev. W. W. Browne recommended that the sick and mutual 
treasuries be united, and that the twenty-five dollars, as well 
as the fifty dollars or one hundred dollars, be paid by the 
general Brotherhood; and should death occur in any Foun- 
tain, the Grand "Worthy Secretary should issue an assessment 
upon the sick treasuries of all the Fountains in the Brother- 
hood for a sufficient amount to pay the twenty-five dollars. 

It was at this session that the proposition was presented to 
elect Rev. W. AY. Browne Grand Worthy Master during good 
behavior. This proposition was met with a great deal of 
unfavorable as well as favorable comment, and at the sugges- 
tion of Mr. Browne himself, the matter was laid on the table 
to be considered at the session of the Grand Fountain to be 
held at Petersburg in 1887. 

Rev. W. L. Taylor first appeared as a delegate of the 


Grand Worthy Mistress, Rosebud Lecturer, Northern Grand Division and 

Director, Philadelphia, Pa. 


Beaver Dam Fountain at this session. Mrs. Eliza Allen hav- 
ing served as Grand Worthy Mistress, passed out at this ses- 
sion, and was succeeded by Mrs. Emily Monroe, of Washing- 
ton, D. C, making Mrs. Allen the first Past Grand Worthy 

Up to this time the different Fountains of the Organization 
had acted independently of each other in forming by-laws. 
It was found that hardly any two Fountains had by-laws 
alike; hence it became necessary to adopt a uniform by-law 
for the government of the whole Brotherhood, and accord- 
ingly the by-laws used by King Solomon Fountain were 
adopted as a model form of government. For a number of 
years these by-laws appeared in the minutes. 


The committee on good of the Order, composed of R. F. 
Robinson, chairman; N. T. Allen, M. Garnet, William Jack- 
son and Lucy Coleman, presented the following recommenda- 
tion : That, whereas W. W. Browne was the origin and 
founder of this good Order in the State of Virginia and in 
the United States so far as the Order extends, and has been 
faithful in building this Order up to the present; be it 

Resolved, That W. W. Browne, Grand Worthy Master, be 
the Grand Worthy Master of this Order in the States of Vir- 
ginia, Maryland, Washington, and in the United States so 
far as the Order extends, so long as he continues to give 
general satisfaction and retains those qualities which fit a 
man for this office. 

During the years 1886 and 1887, forty-six Fountains were 
organized, and when the Petersburg session opened on Sep- 
tember 6, 1887, there were one hundred and twenty-two Foun- 
tains on roll. 

Rev. J. T. Carpenter first appeared at this session as a dele- 
gate representing Eureka Fountain, No. 89, of Richmond, 
which he helped to organize with nearly a hundred members. 

The first property owned by the Grand Fountain, United 


Order of True Reformers, was purchased during the year 
1887. This property consisted of the Centralia Mills, at Cen- 
tralia, Chesterfield county, Va/ This property had] been 
bought hj St. Paul Fountain, No. 8, which is the only Foun- 
tain in the Brotherhood that was ever incorporated. St. Paul 
Fountain bought this property several years before, but found 
itself unable to meet the payments upon it, hence the Grand 
Fountain secured it by paying back to St. Paul Fountain 
the amount that it had paid, and thereby assumed the respon- 
sibility for the balance of purchase price. This property is 
located half way between Petersburg and Eichmond, on the 
Petersburg railroad. There was great rejoicing in the Organ- 
ization when it was acquired. 

The second piece of property owned by the Grand Fountain 
is located at Eichmond. Va., near the comer of Second and 
Leigh streets. It formed the northern half of the lot on 
which the Headquarters now stand. This property was pur- 
chased in 1887 from a Mr. Henry Boone. The purchase price 
was three thousand dollars. At the time of the purchase the 
Grand Fountain did not have sufficient money on hand to 
pay for it, so she resorted to the novel plan of borrowing 
money from the various Fountains. King Solomon loaned 
one hundred and twenty dollars; Bosebucl, Xo. 1, fifty dol- 
lars; Fulton Fountain, twenty-five dollars; St. Thomas, forty 
dollars; Silver Link, twenty-five dollars; Eureka, fifty dol- 
lars; Tidewater, seventy dollars; Christian Star, twenty-five 
dollars; Silver Stream, twenty dollars; Xorthanna, fifty dol- 
lars; Elizabeth, fifty dollars; Hamden, twenty-five dollars; 
Beaver Dam, fifty dollars; Eichmond, fifty dollars. This 
money, together with the cash that the Grand Fountain had 
on hand, enabled her to make the first payment of one thou- 
sand dollars. This property was remodeled at a cost of nearly 
five hundred dollars, and thus it became the first hall that 
the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Eeformers 
ever owned. It is needless to say that the True Eeformers of 



Eichmond and the Brotherhood at large were proud of their 
possession. With about four thousand dollars worth of prop- 
erty, the Grand Fountain felt itself indeed wealthy. 

In 1887 the Past Officers' Council recommended that all 
persons entering the Organization should be required to pass 

Past G. W. Mistress and Assistant Governess, Washington, D. C. 

medical examination. The Grand Fountain was hardly pre- 
pared for the enforcement of this order, whereupon a com- 
promise was made by printing investigation blanks containing 
certain questions regarding health, to be answered by each 
applicant, with the understanding that all persons of doubt- 
ful health should pass medical examination. 




No special care had been exercised in the selection of the 
officers of the Grand Fountain until now. It had been ob- 
served that sometimes persons who had done nothing for the 
upbuilding of the Organization were elected to important 
positions. This caused the business to suffer, by reason of the 
lack of interest on their part. Rev. W. W. Browne remedied 
this state of affairs by recommending that all elections be ac- 
cording to merit ; and that persons elected to office in the 
Grand Fountain should first show themselves worthy of the 
office through the work they had done for the Grand Foun- 

During this year the income to the Grand Fountain on all 
accounts amounted to six thousand eight hundred and sev- 
enty-eight dollars and eighty-nine cents. Twenty-six death 
claims were paid, amounting to two thousand five hundred and 
twentv-nine dollars and five cents. 


The committee on state of the Order, composed of R. F. 
Robinson, chairman; W. H. Jackson, X. T. Allen, Elizabeth 
Black and I. A. Ross, made the following recommendation: 
That the resolution offered at the last annual session as to 
W. W. Browne being Grand Worthy Master of the United 
Order of True Reformers in the United States of America, 
so long as he gives general satisfaction, which was tabled, be 
taken from the table and adopted. 

Rev. TV\ W. Browne was elected Grand Worthy Master 
during good behavior. This act, which took place at the 
seventh annual session of the Grand Fountain, marked an- 
other turning point in the history of the Organization. On 
the last day of the session, held at Union Street A. M. E. 
Zion Church, Rev. Browne delivered an address on the sub- 


ject, "To the Kescue of Your Home and Fireside." We give 
herewith extracts from that speech. 

The Grand Worthy Master spoke in part as follows: 
"When war is declared, we call all to arms to protect from 
the enemy. The United Order of True Reformers now calls 
upon you, not with firearms and swords, but with the cents 
and dollars which we are constantly throwing away, that we 
may forsake the way of the foolish and go in the way of 

"The Grand Fountain was established six years ago, and 
this is the seventh annual session, and according to the Jewish 
economy, this should be the most fruitful. The Subordinate 
Fountains, Classes and Rosebuds have raised for sick benefits 
and other purposes over ten thousand dollars. Six years ago 
we came here with four Fountains; we now have one hun- 
dred and twenty-two Fountains; we have purchased thirty- 
six hundred dollars worth of property without binding our- 
selves out to real estate agents as many societies are doing. 

"The Order is gaining the confidence of our people, which is 
shown by their having appointed a committee to report at 
the next session on an industrial bank. The reason that we 
have not rescued more from degradation is that, with all our 
schooling, we have failed to open one book, namely, the book 
of economy. Many say that they know what economy is, but 
they do not practice it. A great many said when we started 
out that we were not going anywhere; when we told men 
that we could make thirty-five cents and fifty cents per mem- 
ber, paid monthly, secure a policy for one hundred and 
twenty-five dollars, everybody laughed us to scorn. The fact 
was in evidence that every benevolent society paid fifty cents 
per month and could not keep up. How is it that one born in 
the cotton field of Georgia can beat the plan laid by people 
that have been free all their lives? The reason is that he is 
the best financier who can make money go the farthest. In 
a benevolent institution it was a big thing to bury the dead 


First Female Canvasser, First Bank Clerk, and President of the Rosebud Board, 

Richmond. Va. 


and give ten dollars to the heir. They say our scheme will 
fail, but it will not. At the death of a member in a Fountain 
which has ten members, what will they be out when that 
member gets one hundred and twenty-five dollars? They pay 
only sixty-five cents. Should they have ten deaths, they only 
pay out six dollars and fifty cents. Look at the benevolent 
order with ten members that has a death; they pay twenty- 
five cents each, which is two dollars and fifty cents, and on 
ten deaths, twenty-five dollars. This is because they are low. 
You see the Negro brain against white brain is this : 'In union 
there is strength.' When a brother dies in Washington, 
though I do not know him, I feel his death as much as does 
his own Fountain. You talk of your ancient orders and 
societies; do you know that Jethro, a "black man, first taught 
government? We want to turn the current of our money 
from the Dutch and out-countrymen to ourselves. When we 
have done this, we shall have exercised economy. We ask, 
Why don't our ladies act like white ladies? Why don't our 
gentlemen act like Avhite gentlemen? When a white man 
dies, he is a member of some good insurance society, and thus 
leaves money for his wife after his death. If you see a man 
trying to jump up five steps at once, you will be reminded 
that the task is a very difficult one, and that he is very likely 
to fall. We tried big endowments before we tried the small 
ones. We say we don't care for shad or herring. No, if we 
don't care more for them than they do for us, we will die. 
Some say, 'I found nothing here when I came. Let my wife 
and children do as I drd.' If they do as you did they will 
do a very poor do. Why do you continually go to the grog- 
shop and sit on the barrel and tell the Dutchman all the short- 
comings of your family ? He does not tell you his. Men who 
sell out each other are not much; still less those who sell out 
their family. If we wish our chidren to be men, we must be 
men ourselves. It is impossible for a bad man to beget good. 
We don't unite our money; we spend it with the out-country- 
men who come where we are thickest, with taffy for the 


children. When the boys get happy with gin, the}^ hug the 
old Dutch lady and spend all their money at the shop; their 
children are looking lean and poor, while the Dutchman's 
children are getting fat and saucy. They use you as a ladder 
to reach higher things. You won't carry your own children. 
but you sav. 'Let them do as I did.' Let me say to you all — 
unite yourselves together and stop supporting everybody else, 
and support your own homes. What you have does not bene- 
fit you : it is what you make use of. We must look out for 
our homes and children. Some think it is sufficient to get 
up with a little learning and despise the colored man whom 
the white man takes to build him up. We regret to say that 
some white men try to break up every good plan the Negro 
has. In order to split the log you must find the seam. White 
men find the seam of our union, and unless we are strongly 
united, they will split us up. If any one here says, 'Let my 
children do as I do.* stop it. Why are there no mere men 
looking out for their children? Molly and I are members of 
the Fountain and five hundred dollar Class. I do not know 
who will die first Some say God has nothing to do with 
secret order-: He has never told me this secret or any other 
man that I know of. Some say the sum of live dollars is too 
much, but none want a cheap wife, nor do you want to join 
the cheap society. A dollar society is only worth a dollar. 
In addition to the two hundred dollar- and five hundred dol- 
lar Classes, we will soon have a thousand dollar Class. The 
societies have been singing the old song, 'katy-did, 5 Hake care 
sick; bury dead.* What would you think if the Lord had 
made a man all eyes or a man with no arms? All the organi- 
zations which do nothing but take care of the sick remind me 
of a well-dressed man barefooted and bareheaded. 

"When T was in Wisconsin one season, wheat and oats 
went down in price and hops went up. The next season 
everybody planted hops. When the selling time came, hops 
went down to ten cents a bushel and wheat went up to two 


dollars a bushel, but nobody had wheat. If my foresight had 
been as good as my hindsight I would have been a rich man. 

"The Classes of our Order are much cheaper than the white 
insurance societies. A lady once said, 'I cannot pay two dol- 
lars and fifty cents, .when I can join for twenty-five cents.' 
How often do you pay twenty-five cents? Every week. Did 
you count this ? No. Why, it is thirteen dollars for one hun- 
dred and twenty-five dollars. In the Fountain you pay four 
dollars and ten cents to make you benefited. You receive one 
hundred and twenty-five dollars, and thus save nine dollars. 

"If you join the two hundred dollar Class, you will get two 
hundred dollars at death and save nine dollars and twenty- 
five cents. You think that one hundred and twenty-five dol- 
lars from the white man goes farther than one hundred and 
twenty-five dollars from the black man, but you are wrong. 

"Maybe you think our news too good to be true, but it only 
takes eight hundred members in the two hundred dollar Class 
to pay face value. Richmond and Washington are largely 
filled. We are in New York and Boston, and we are going to 
take the field, for we have the material. The five hundred 
dollar Class costs seven dollars and fifty cents a year in as- 
sessments and two dollars quarterly dues. This is all it can 
cost a person not over thirty-five years of age. Every mem- 
ber who joins the Classes obtains shares of five dollars each, 
on which he receives dividends. 

"The buildings of the Classes, at Richmond and elsewhere, 
pay the dividends. The Classes are only two years old. What 
if you had thirty dollars in the Classes? The quarterly dues 
go to your credit. You can pay in uncalled for assessments 
and make shares on them. The Board of Directors declare 
dividends and manage the Classes. What will you get, thirty 
dollars at thirty cents on the dollar? Nine dollars percentage. 
Thirty dollars in bank would pay one dollar and fifty cents 
only; so you see the Classes beat the bank. Any member de- 
siring a home after a while will be able to purchase it through 
the Classes. 


"The Rosebuds are under Mrs. Eliza Allen and M. A. 
Berry, of Petersburg, who were appointed to the manage- 
ment from a meritorious standpoint. The Classes are under 
the Board of Directors, and both under the Grand Fountain. 
The children pay one dollar and fifty cents to make them 
benefited. At death their parents or guardians receive from 
twenty-four dollars and fifty cents to thirty-seven dollars. 

"At Fredericksburg they had seventy-six Fountains; now 
they have one hundred and twenty-two Fountains. Next year 
we want two hundred and twenty-five Fountains. I am not 
working for Virginia alone; but for the whole United States. 
I am wedded to Virginia, though born in Georgia; hence Vir- 
ginia is very dear to me. My mother was a Virginian. Ex- 
cuse me if I have been lengthy." 













































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The most important thing accomplished at the session in 
1887 was the decision to secure a charter for the Savings Bank 
of the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Re- 

Up to this time there had been no Negro Savings Bank in 
this country, for it has been clearly shown that the so-called 
Freedmen's Bank was not owned and controlled by Negroes; 
it was only Freedmen's Bank to the extent that the deposi- 
tors were in the main freedmen. The failure of the Freed- 
men's Bank worked a great hardship on the colored people 
the country over, because it was their first venture at saving, 
and having lost their money, they were not inclined to try 
it again. For this reason the decision of Rev. W. W. Browne 
to start a Savings Bank was all the more remarkable. 

During the year 1887 there was started by Rev. W. W. 
Browne, at Mossingford, Charlotte county, Va., a Fountain 
known as Loving Fountain, No. 74. It consisted of sixty-six 
members, and in the course of organization they had collected 
a large amount of money. One Rev. F. M. Hall was elected 
treasurer, and for safekeeping he placed the money in a white 
storekeeper's safe. Just prior to the starting of this Fountain 
at Mossingford, there had occurred a lynching at a place in 
Charlotte county known as Drake's Branch ; hence the feeling 
on this account between the races was very high. This white 
man communicated the fact of the Negroes having saved up 
this amount of money to the white neighbors; also informed 
them that this Fountain was being organized; whereupon it 
was agreed that it would never do to allow the Negroes to 
organize, and that every possible means should be taken to 
discourage them. So it was told to the Rev. Hall that this 


Fountain should not stand, and he was accordingly influenced 
to go amongst the members and talk against the Organization, 
with the result that it was determined by many to disband 
and divide the money. W. H. Grant who had been instru- 
mental in getting the people together and organizing the 
Fountain, immediately wrote W. W. Browne and advised 
him to come to Mossingford and do something to save the 
work there. At the same time he advised him that it would 
be a very risky thing to attempt, since race feeling was run- 
ning high; he feared that he would suffer bodily harm if he 
came. Notwithstanding this fact, Rev. W. W. Browne, in 
company with the Grand Worthy Secretary, Mr. W. P. Bur- 
rell, went to Mossingford and set up the Fountain, thereby 
saving it to the Brotherhood. 

Hall and his white friends were disappointed. During the 
course of the meeting, AY. H. Grant suggested to Rev. Browne 
that if the colored people had a bank of their OAvn, where they 
might deposit their money and handle it, there would be no 
chance for the white people to find out what they were doing, 
as they had in this case. He therefore urged Rev. Browne 
to open a bank. The idea did not strike Rev. Browne so well 
at first, but he finally concluded that it was a good thing, and 
recommended to the Petersburg session that a Savings Bank 
be opened. His first idea, as shown in the last clause of the 
recommendations, was that this Bank should be an internal 
affair with the Organization. The matter was taken up and 
referred to the Board of Directors, which met in Richmond 
in 1887. A committee was appointed for the purpose of se- 
curing a charter, with Rev. W. W. Browne, chairman. This 
committee secured the services of Mr. Giles B. Jackson, and 
through his efforts the charter for the Savings Bank of the 
Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, was se- 
cured from the legislature on March 2, 1888. Judge Edmund 
Waddill, now District Judge of the Circuit Court of the United 
States, was the patron. The following is the Charter of the 





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"Chapter 350. An Act to incorporate the Savings Bank of 
the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers. 

"Approved March 2, 1888. 

"1. Be it enacted by , the General Assembly of Virginia, 
That W. W. Browne, Allen J. Harris, W. P. Burrell, R. F. 
Robinson, Eliza Allen, E. Monroe, M. A. Berry, C. S. Lucas, 
H. L. Minnus, P. S. Lindsay and S. W. Sutton, together with 
such other persons as they may hereafter associate with them, 
be, and they are hereby, constituted a body politic and cor- 
porate by the name and style of the Savings Bank of the 
Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, of Vir- 
ginia, and by that name and style are hereby invested with 
all the rights and privileges conferred on banks of discount 
and deposit of this State by chapter 59 of the Code of Vir- 
ginia, 1873, and not inconsistent with the provisions of this 

"2. The capital stock of the said corporation shall not be 
less than ten thousand dollars, in shares of five dollars each, 
which may be increased from time to time to a sum of not 
exceeding one hundred thousand dollars; provided said Bank 
shall not transact any business under this act until twenty per 
cent, of the minimum shall have been paid up. The said 
Bank shall be located in the city of Richmond, State of Vir- 
ginia; the officers of said Bank shall consist of a President, 
Vice-President, Cashier and Assistant Cashier (if necessary), 
and such other clerks and messengers as may be necessary to 
conduct the business of the same. 

"3. The Board of Directors elected by the Grand Fountain, 
United Order of True Reformers, shall constitute the Board 
of Directors of said Bank; they shall continue in office until 
the first meeting of the members; at such first meeting, and 
at every annual meeting thereafter, directors shall be elected, 
who may be removed by the Grand Fountain, United Order 
of True Reformers, in general meeting; but unless so re- 
moved, shall continue in office until their successors shall be 
duly elected and qualified. The day for the first meeting of 


the members shall be prescribed by the by-laws : provided that 
number shall not be less than five ; by-laws may also provide 
for calling meetings of the members, and any meeting may 
adjourn from time to time. 

"4. The Board of Directors shall elect one of their body 
President and Vice-President, and may fill any vacancy oc- 
curring in the Board unless it be by removal, in which case 
the members may fill the same in general meeting. The said 
Board shall appoint, to hold during its pleasure, the officers 
and agents of said Bank, prescribe their compensation, and 
take from them bonds with such security as it may deem fit. 

"5. The said Bank may acquire such real estate as may be 
requisite for the convenient transaction of its business, and 
such as may be bona fide mortgaged to it by way of security, 
or conveyed to it for satisfaction of debts contracted in the 
course of its dealing or purchased at sale upon judgment 
against persons indebted to it. 

"6. Said Bank may receive money on deposit and grant 
certificates therefor, and may levy, sell and negotiate coin, 
bank notes, foreign and domestic bills of exchange and nego- 
tiable notes in and out of this State. It may loan money on 
personal and real security, and receive interest in advance; 
may guarantee the payment of notes, bonds, bills of exchange, 
or other evidence of debt, and may receive for safekeeping 
gold and silver plate, diamonds, jewelry and other valuables, 
and charge reasonable compensation therefor. The money 
received on deposit by said Bank, and other funds of the same, 
may be invested in or loaned on real security, or be used in 
purchasing or discounting bonds, bills, notes or other paper. 

"7. The object of this corporation is to provide a deposi- 
tory for the Grand and Subordinate Fountains of the United 
Order of True Reformers, a benevolent institution incorpo- 
rated for such purposes by the Circuit Court of the State of 

"8. All acts and parts of acts inconsistent with this act are 
hereby repealed. 
"9. This act shall be in force from its passage," 




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At the meeting of the Board of Directors in 1888, the fol- 
lowing officers were elected : W. W. Browne, President ; Allen 
J. Harris, Vice-President; E. T. Hill, Cashier. 

Finance Committee — Joseph E. Jones, W. L. Taylor, W. P. 

April 3, 1889, was set for the date of the opening of the 
Bank. Of this we will speak later. A committee for the 
fitting up of the Bank was appointed, and Mr. R. T. Hill 
was appointed traveling 'agent, with the power to make the 
necessary arrangements for the opening. 

The eighth annual session of the Grand Fountain, United 
Order of True Reformers, met at Richmond, Va., September 
4, 1888. The report at this session shows a remarkable growth 
of the Organization. At the meeting in Petersburg there 
were one hundred and twenty-two Fountains on roll. At the 
session at Richmond, there were one hundred and eighty-nine 
Fountains on roll, showing an increase of sixty-seven. 

During the year 1888, the work in all sections took on new 
life. It became necessary during this year to keep the office 
at Richmond, Va., open at all hours. Prior to this time, the 
Grand Secretary, W. P. Burrell, had only given a part of his 
time to do the work, but this year it became necessary that 
arrangements be made to keep the office open all day. The 
office force was increased by the employment of Mrs. L. B. 
Smith and Mrs. M. E. Burrell, as assistants to look after the 
work. Rev. W. W. Browne took the field. Rev. W. L, Tay- 
lor, Rev. J. T. Carpenter and P. S. Lindsay were especially 
prominent during this year in building the work. 

The record shows that during this year fourteen Fountains 
were organized by William Washington Browne, fourteen 
by J. T. Carpenter, four by C. H. Phillips, one by P. A. 
Tyler, four by E. Monroe, six by W. P. Burrell and wife, one 
by W. P. Burrell and Spencer Coles, one by W. P. Burrell 
and Harriet Page, three by Spencer Coles and P. S. Lindsay, 
four by C. A. Williams, one by E. A. Monroe, one by C. S. 
Lucas and Joseph Russell, one by Eliza Allen, one by A. J. 


Harris, three by William L. Taylor, one by Nathan Eeid, one 
by C. S. Johnson, one by P. K. Williams, one by C. S. John- 
son and E. T. Hill, two by W. F. Graham, two by M. A. 
Berry, and two by Elizabeth Harris. 

It was during this year that the office of the Grand Worthy 
Treasurer, as custodian of the funds of the Grand Fountain, 
was abolished, and all money was ordered to be deposited in 
the Bank daily. The office of the Grand Worthy Master and 
that of the Grand Worthy Secretary were made jointly Sec- 
retary and Treasurer, and they were required to give a joint 

The office of Accountant was created during this year, and 
Professor A. V. Norrell, the oldest public school teacher in 
Eichmond and a man of extraordinary mathematical ability, 
was appointed to fill the position. 

The by-laws governing the Bank were adopted at the Eich- 
mond session, and full and complete arrangements were made 
for the opening of the Bank in April, 1889. 

Training schools for Deputies were held by the Grand 
Worthy Master at the following named points, for the train- 
ing of men for the work of the Brotherhood : Eichmond, Va., 
Petersburg, Va., Fredericksburg, Va., Washington, D. C, 
Wilmington, N. C, Clarkesville, Va., and Alexandria, Va, 
At each of these places three meetings were held one for the 
Fountains in union meeting, one for the messengers and 
workers, and one for the public. At these meetings the Depu- 
ties and workers were instructed and trained in handling all 
of the departments of the Organization. It was here decided 
that the office of Chief Messenger be created in every city 
where there were two Fountains. This was the origin of the 
Divisions as they now exist throughout the Brotherhood. 

It was ordered at this session that an architect for the pur- 
pose of remodeling the property on Second street be secured, 
so that the office of the Grand Fountain might be removed 
there ; also that there be a place for the Bank when opened. 

A very sad calamity befell the Organization at Alexandria, 


Va., during the year 1888. Rev. TV. F. Graham, who had 
been very active as a Deputy in the Organization, had suc- 
ceeded in organizing several Fountains in Alexandria, and 
they had secured a hall, which was not as strong as it was 
thought to have been. At one of the meetings the floor gave 
way and a large number of the people were injured. Free- 
will offerings were taken up all over the Brotherhood for the 
benefit "of the sufferers, and the Grand Fountain appropriated 
one hundred dollars out of its treasury. 

A new by-law was recommended for the various Fountains 
to take the place of the laws adopted by King Solomon Foun- 
tain, which had for a number of years been the governmental 
basis for all the Fountains throughout the Brotherhood. 

The first split in the Organization since 1883 occurred this 
year. It was occasioned by the Rev. Eobert Johnson, of 
Washington, D. C, withdrawing and carrying with him a 
part of nine Fountains. 

An autobiography of W. W. Browne was published during 
this year, in connection with a guide book. Classes C and D 
were discontinued, and in their stead M Class was ordered 
to be put in force as soon as Classes B and E reached a thou- 
sand members each. 

The first annual report of Rev. W. L. Taylor, General 
Messenger of the Class department, was presented at the Rich- 
mond session in 1888. As this was the first official document 
/presented by Rev. W. L. Taylor to the Grand Fountain, we 
insert it here for reference. 

"To the Eighth Annual Session of the Grand Fountain, 
United Order of True Reformers: 

"Dear Brethren, — It is with great pleasure that I present 
I to you this my first annual report as General Messenger. 
1 Since your last session the Board of Directors saw fit to elect 
your humble servant to that position to assist the several 
Messengers in building up the Insurance and Business depart- 
ment of our Order. 


"After being trained by the Grand Worthy Master, I en- 
tered the field, and have traveled from Fountain to Fountain, 
giving one or two lectures to all of the Fountains in the rural 
districts, and many of those in the city ; canvassed from house 
to house, and assisted the Messengers in building up their 
Circles. The Grand Master visited some in my stead. I havv?, 
with his assistance, appointed Messengers in nearly all of the 
Fountains, some of whom have worked earnestly, and the 
fruits of their labors will be seen from the general report cf 
the office. Others have not done so much. I suppose it is 
either from the lack of understanding or manhood to go 

"This department has rapidly increased since last session. 
Last session we reported an enrollment of two hundred and 
thirty-one in B and E Classes. With the assistance of the 
Messengers and Deputies, we present you this year with an 
enrollment of nearly two thousand members, nearly all of 
whom are benefited. We have been blessed, in that we have 
had only three deaths in E Class and one in B, so we only 
need the earnest support of the Deputies and Messengers to 
push this department to victory. I therefore recommend that 
any Deputy or Messenger who does not give his or her own 
support and impress the importance of the same upon the 
Fountains and members in his or her charge, said Deputy or 
Messenger be removed and another be appointed. My reason 
for this is, I find some of our Deputies, as well as Messengers, 
are not willing to sacrifice a little time to call meetings and 
notify the members and friends to meet and hear this depart- 
ment explained by the General Messenger or others. Still 
they claim not to have time in their Fountains to explain it. 

"Now, my dear brethren, I hope to have the co-operation 
of each and every member; if so, we hope, by the help of 
God, to present to you at the next annual session a report that 
wills make us all feel glad, knowing that this department is 
the backbone and sinew of the Order. 




I— I 



"I have labored not only for this department, but have 
spoken- for all, and have organized three Fountains, num- 
bering from thirty to sixty members each, and have also done 
general work. May God bless our labors, and cause us to 
go on to success, is my earnest prayer." 




Previous to entering upon his work as General Messenger, 
Rev. W. L. Taylor, Rev. J. T. Carpenter and Mrs. M. E. 
Burrell formed the first company of Canvassers that the 
Grand Fountain ever had. The three were trained in com- 
mon by Rev. W. W. Browne, and they made a house to house 
canvass throughout Richmond in the interest of the Class 
department. Their band was organized with Rev. W. W. 
Browne as President and Mrs. M. E. Burrell, Secretary. The 
work of each day in detail was recorded by the Secretary at 
the close of the day. 

The ninth annual session of the Grand Fountain convened 
at Danville, Va., September 3, 1889. During this year the 
Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain was opened, having 
gone into business on April 3d. The opening day was a 
grand success, the Cashier receiving one thousand two hun- 
dred and sixty-nine dollars and twenty-eight cents on deposits. 
He was assisted on the opening day by Mrs. M. E. Burrell, 
who was the first bank clerk. The report of the Bank for 
the months of April, May, June, July and August shows that 
nine thousand eight hundred and eleven dollars and twenty- 
eight cents had been received on deposit. 

During this year the Grand Fountain bought thirty acres 
of timber land in Henrico county, Va., and purchased in 
Caroline county, Va., two hundred and seventy acres. 

There were organized during the year sixty-five senior 
Fountains and twenty-one Rosebuds, making a total number 
of persons received in the senior Fountains and Classes two 
thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight. Total receipts of 
the Fountains from all sources were twenty-four thousand 
three hundred and six dollars and fourteen cents. Total re- 

Mm}' 11 '''" 

.• > . / 




-J 00 






























ceipts for the .Rosebud department were seven hundred and 
fifty-nine dollars and nine cents. 

At the session at Danville, each delegate present was re- 
quired to give a short report of the condition of his Foun- 
tain. This was one of the most interesting and profitable pro- 
ceedings undertaken by the Grand Fountain up to this time 
as a means of inspiration. It consumed a period of three 
daj^s; still it was not without interest at any time. 

The first Divisions were organized during this year, as fol- 
lows: Shiloh Division, Petersburg; Morning Star, Manches- 
ter; Silver Stream, Richmond; King Solomon, Richmond; 
Elizabeth, Richmond; Tidewater, Fredericksburg; Mt. Piz- 
gah, Alexandria, and Hagar, at Washington. The officers 
of these Divisions were a Chief Messenger, two Vice-Chiefs, 
a Secretary and Treasurer. The meetings of these Divisions 
were ordered to be held monthly. 

The membership of the Class department increased very 
rapidly during this year. 

The tenth annual session of the Grand Fountain convened 
at Washington. D. C., on the 2d day of September, 1890. 

During the year 1889. seventy-five Fountains were organ- 
ized, giving a total in the report at the annual session of 
three hundred and thirty-three Fountains. The number of 
policies issued during the year was two thousand seven hun- 
dred and ninety-two. Receipts from all sources were thirty 
thousand six hundred and ninety-five dollars and fifty-three 
cents. There were paid out for death claims during this year 
eleven thousand four hundred and eighty-seven dollars and 
seventy cents. The receipts of the Bank for twelve months 
were fifty-five thousand nine hundred and thirty-seven dol- 
lars and seventy-nine cents. The report of the Junior Secre- 
tary showed that twenty-three new Rosebuds had been or- 
ganized, making a total of eighty-three Rosebuds on roll. 
Six hundred and fifty-one children joined the department 
during the year. 

In the report of the Grand Worthy Secretary, W, P. Bur- 


rell, the question of burial by committee was recommended 
for the first time to the Grand Fountain. 

In consequence of a recommendation at a previous session, 
an architect was secured and the Second street property, now 
having a frontage of sixty feet, was remodeled. It was or- 
dered by the Grand Fountain, on the recommendation of the 
Grand Worthy Master, that at the completion of this prop- 
erty, as there had been no corner-stone laying, that we should 
have a "Money-Stone" day. The plan for this day is set 
forth in the following recommendation of the Grand Worthy 
Master: "I think it will be wise, instead of having a corner- 
stone laying, at the completion of our building in Richmond, 
to have a 'Money-Stone Laying,' as this is the first Negro 
Bank established and controlled by Negroes in the United 
States, to my knowledge." 

This was one of the most novel recommendations and event- 
ful occasions that had ever taken place in the institution. 
Few could understand what the results would be. No one 
had ever heard of a money-stone day, hence it proved a great 
success as will be seen later. 

At this session an address was delivered by the Grand 
Worthy Secretary, W. P. Burrell, giving in a concise manner 
the growth of the Organization for the first ten years of its 
existence. We follow with the address in full: 

"I am no speaker but my glory is to be known as a worker. 
I have prepared no set speech for this occasion, hence I shall 
have to say just whatever may suggest itself to my mind. 

"I shall take as a subject, 'Records.' When a young man 
applies for a position, one of the first questions asked him is, 
'What is your record? What have you done before coming 
here?' I shall endeavor io show to the people of Washington 
the record this Order has made in nine years. 

"Many years ago there might have been seen in the streets 
of Richmond a man with a slick, clerical-cut, black coat on, 
which did duty on all occasions. Wherever this coat was 








seen, men knew that there was W. W. Browne with a plan 
of a Negro Insurance Society. No one believed that the said 
plan was worth anything, and no respectable man cared to 
be seen in Browne's company, for fear that he would be 
thought crazy, too, as many said Browne was. 

"In January, 1881, we only had four Fountains and one 
hundred members; October, 1881, twelve Fountains and two 
hundred and fifty members; September, 1881, sixteen Foun- 
tains and three hundred members; April, 1883, we had the 
same number as September, 1882, but found it necessary to 
expel a large part of the membership, which left us nine 
Fountains, with two hundred and fifty members. September, 
1883, we had sixteen Fountains and three hundred and fifty 
members; September, 1881, twenty-nine Fountains and six 
hundred members; September, 1885, fifty-two Fountains and 
a thousand members; September, 1886, seventy-six Fountains 
and a thousand five hundred members; September, 1887, one 
hundred and twenty-two Fountains and two thousand mem- 
bers; September, 1888, one hundred and ninety-two Foun- 
tains and four thousand members; September, 1889, two hun- 
dred and fifty-four Fountains and six thousand five hundred 
members; September, 1890, three hundred and thirty-four 
Fountains and seven thousand five hundred members. 

"You see what we have as a growing record. Now let us 
look at the financial record. 

"In 1881 there was collected and disbursed for the benefit of 
the members, twelve hundred and fifty-one dollars and 
twenty-five cents; in 1882, eighteen hundred and twelve dol- 
lars and fifteen cents; in 1883, twenty-two hundred dollars; 
in 1881, fifty-four hundred and four dollars; in 1885, six 
thousand and thirty-six dollars; in 1886, nine thousand seven 
hundred and forty-eight dollars; in 1887, twenty-seven thou- 
sand five hundred and fifteen dollars and fifty-six cents; In 
1888, thirty- four thousand four hundred and ninety-nine dol- 
lars and fifty-eight cents; in 1889, seventy-two thousand nine 
hundred and eighteen dollars and forty-two cents; in 1890, 


ninety-two thousand and eighty-six dollars and fifty-six cents. 
Total for ten years, two hundred and fifty-three thousand 
four hundred and seventy-one dollars and fifty-five cents. 
This is our financial record outside of the Bank and Rose- 
buds. There has been paid out of the Rosebud Fountains 
since 1885, at which time they were organized, over five thou- 
sand dollars. The Bank has handled since April, 1889, sixty- 
five thousand dollars. This is our record. 

"Now let us examine the class of members. In 1881 we 
had the very worst of our Race ; not a decent man, as I have 
said, wanted to bother with us. What is the case to-day? We 
have with us the very best and the most influential of our 
Race. Men who used to spurn the name are now proud of 
the fact that they are members. We have every class of re- 
spectable people banded together in one compact for good. 
Let us look at the confidence established as a part of our 
record. In the beginning no one would trust us for a cent; 
to-day we often have contracts which run up in the hun- 
dreds, and our white friends compete with each other for 
our patronage. They come to us; we no longer have to go 
to them, and put up a bonus to secure the execution of our 
work. The name of the Order is the synonym of honesty 
and fairness, and every one knows it. Men no longer spurn 
the man who wore the slick coat, but court his association. 
Members joining know that they will get their money. Since 
we started in 1881, there has been paid forty-five thousand 
dollars in endowments on account of deceased members. Of 
this amount, nine thousand dollars was paid to the people of 
Washington, D. C. In 1881 we had only one department; 
since that time three others have been added, and they are 
all in a flourishing condition. In 1885 we put on the Rose- 
buds and Classes at Washington. In 1888, the Bank at Rich- 
mond. We have the honor of running successfully the first 
regularly incorporated bank of this country, the founder of 
which is a Negro, and all of the officers as well. 

"To do business with each other, tends to build up confi- 





ir 1 





dence in the Race. Our Bank is so arranged that it cannot be 
broken at any time by pooling of the stock, as the stock cannot 
be sold, but must remain at all times a living support to the 

"The True Reformers have done more for Washington 
since its organization than any other part of the field, and 
because of the record of the Order everybody in Washington 
ought to join. There are more things which might be said, 
but there are others to follow. I must thank you for your at- 

It was at this session that the question arose as to the 
original Negro Bank in the United States. This matter was 
forever set at rest, and it was proven beyond a doubt that the 
Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain, United Order of True 
Reformers, was the original Negro Bank of the country, not- 
withstanding the fact that some claimed priority of organiza- 
tion for the Capital Savings Bank, of Washington, D. C. 

Hon. John M. Langston. the first and only colored repre- 
sentative from Virginia in the Congress of the United States, 
was introduced to the members at this session by Mr. John 
Mitchell. Jr., the delegate from King Solomon Fountain. 
No. 7. 

The following speech, delivered by the Grand Worthy Mas- 
ter, William W. Browne, gives in a very concise manner the 
divisions of the Organization and the purposes of the Bank. 
This speech, viewed after fifteen years, shows how prophetic 
and how far-seeing the founder of the Organization was. 

The Grand Worthy Master said among other things: 

"It affords me great pleasure to speak to you. I have been 
highly entertained by W. P. Burrell. I am proud of him, be- 
cause, when no one else would help me, he came and offered 
his assistance, when ofttimes he could do nothing more than 
cheer me in my loneliness. I am not surprised that some 
people do not like the True Reformers, because they remind 


me of a man who was owned by my master in Georgia, My 
mistress was fond of dress, and her husband told her if she 
could make the Negroes give up their biscuits, she could have 
the money for dress which it took to buy flour. Accordingly, 
my mistress came to our quarters one morning and began 
lecturing us on the wrong of eating biscuits. She referred 
to the neighbors' Negroes, who did not eat biscuits, saying 
that they were strong and healthy, and above all things, nice 
and polite. The man to whom I have referred spoke up at 
once and said he could do without his biscuits, as he didn't 
like them anyway. My mistress seeing me present, said, C I 
know you, you little rascal, won't give up your biscuit.' I 
told her, 'No, ma'am,' because there was nothing in the world 
that I liked better than biscuits. The next day I got a hot 
biscuit from the kitchen, and buttered it nicely; seeing the 
man that didn't like biscuits, I offered him a piece of mine. 
He refused, so I begged him just to taste it. He took a little 
piece and put it in his mouth. It tasted so good that he im- 
mediately grabbed for more. 'Ah,' said I, 'thought you 
didn't love biscuits?' 'I didn't,' he said; 'I never had any 
before.' So it is with our enemies ; they don't like us, as they 
have no knowledge of how we work. I thought this man's 
reason a grand one ; he had given his decision without knowl- 
edge. Never say what you love without investigation. I used 
to judge things by name until I heard of a man by the name 
of 'Pig.' I wanted to see him, as I thought he must look 
very funny. Imagine my surprise, when I saw in him one of 
the finest specimens of manhood it has ever been my luck to 
meet. The fact is, you can judge nothing by its name. 

"The True Reformers sounds like reformers of character, 
but we are hunting for people who are already reformed. 
The church of God has the other kind of reformation in 
hand; mine is financial reform. I want to go forward re- 
forming our people financially. We are throwing away 
money enough to buy this country. 

"I will give you the object of this Organization. The object 







of the Fountain is to take care of the sick, bury the dead, and 
assist each other. Ladies ought to be in societies where men 
are, as they act as moderators, and help the presiding officer 
keep order. We want only people sound in health and mind. 
Let a member die in one of the Fountains in Washington 
which has seven members only; if said member has not been 
there a year, he will receive seventy-five dollars. At this rate, 
for seven dollars from that number, we could pay seven 
thousand five hundred dollars. If a member dies who has 
been in a year, he gets one hundred and twenty-five dollars. 
The old rule used to be to take forty dollars for burial and 
to tax the members fifty cents each to replace the said amount. 
On one hundred deaths, the old societies pay four thousand 
dollars, at a cost of fifty dollars to each member. The True 
Reformers can pay twelve thousand five hundred dollars at 
an expense of only two dollars to each member. This is what 
we call reform. 

"It is said that we had a Negro Bank under the head of the 
'Freeclmen's Bank.' We never had such a bank, because all 
the owners and managers were white, together with the presi- 
dents. The depositors were black men; the white men owned 
the bank, and the black men the name. The Bank which we 
have is a black man's bank, and all the officers are black. Our 
purposes, aims and associations are one. We started out with 
love, truth, mercy, wisdom, brain and finance. These are our 
weapons. You have been told we are preparing to hatch 
young banks. The capital stock of this Bank is perpetually 
increasing. I tried to get a bank in Alabama a long while 
ago, but was unsuccessful. I said to G. B. Jackson that I 
wanted him to secure a charter for my bank; he said that we 
could get it. We commenced this Bank in 1888, a little ahead 
of Washington; Chattanooga came next with her bank. 
While traveling, I met Mr. Willis, the cashier of the Penny 
Savings Bank. I promised to assist him, as he said their 
bank was a child of ours. Every member of E Class puts five 
dollars into the capital stock; a thousand pay five thousand 


dollars; ten thousand pay fifty thousand dollars. In Class B, 
ten thousand pay twenty-five thousand dollars. My Fountain 
has on deposit a thousand dollars. If one hundred Fountains 
had one thousand dollars on deposit, we would have a hun- 
dred thousand dollars ; three hundred Fountains at three hun- 
dred dollars each would give ninety thousand dollars, and in 
ten years they would have nine hundred thousand dollars. 
I will give ten thousand to each Bank, and nine hundred 
thousand dollars will open ninety banks. Can I take the 
finance of this country with my supporters? I will make such 
a raid on the finance of this country as was never made by 
Touissant L'Overture. Some white men have kept us down 
by preventing us from associating with our educated men. 
The whites associate with our people to get their money. 
Take the educated out of our midst and the Negro must stay 
in financial slavery. We are marshaling the uneducated for 
the body, and the educated for the eyes to direct the body in 
the right path. When we unite with them brain and finance, 
our emancipation is sure. We say to the people of Washing- 
ton, unite with us in forming Fountains and let us have one 
united whole. Should you get in trouble in your Washington 
bank, and cannot pull through, call on me. and I will have 
my bank hold you up. We take love to pull the chariot, truth 
to hold the light, mercy for the umbrella, finance for the 
wheels, brain for the boiler, wisdom for the pilot, and we are 
going on to success." 

Hon. John M. Langston, who was the first congressman 
ever to address this Organization, delivered the following 
address, which, though more than fifteen years have passed, 
still makes good reading: 

Hon. John M. Langston said among other things: 

"Once an aged Doctor of Divinity, a president of a college, 

asked a pupil of his, 'What is the secret of success?' The 

student said, 'A full and comprehensive knowledge of science.' 

'No, no,' said the professor, 'try again." 'Ah,' said the stii- 






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dent, 'labor.' 'No,' said the professor, 'I'll tell you, it is self- 
reliance.' God has given every man two hands, two feet, one 
brain, one head, one purpose, and He says to each one, 'Lean 
on thyself and then on me.' This is the secret of success. 
I must order myself. You may save, my son, but I must 
save only as I hoard my money till you say I am rich. The 
secret of success to mankind is self-reliance. Love without 
wisdom is nothing. Affection with wisdom is worth some- 
thing. Oh, how I love a dollar; I love to get a dollar; I love 
to keep it. See that house? It is named after me, and per- 
petuating my name. Ixely on yourself for success. Almost 
all white men are waiting for some one to die and leave them 
a fortune; a will is made, the fortune is gone. There is the 
boy who commenced twenty-five years ago blacking boots; he 
invents a good blacking, gets twenty-five thousand dollars 
for his patent, and lives and dies in wealth. I have seen the 
Negro in all conditions of life — poor, wealthy, comely and 
ugly. I have seen him president of the only people that 
freed themselves. I have seen him gather all the wealth of 
nations around him, but only on one principle, and that is, 
begin at the smallest beginning and climb to great heights. 
It is a wonderful thing to be in this church; where did the 
money come from to build it? It came from self-reliance. 

"We are now building banks. When I saw my friend (W. 
W. Browne) in Montgomery, in 18G8, I said, 'How promising 
he is.' When I was in Richmond, he took me all about and 
showed me what he was going to do. If I had been skeptical, 
I might have doubted him. but the time has come when the 
Negro says, 'Let there be light,' and there is light. What will be 
the confidence in the Xegro and his power when he shall have 
been building banks for many years? Here we have the first 
Negro Bank in the country in Virginia. I want Virginia to 
produce the most magnificent type of manhood, because it 
was from Virginia that the South was peopled with Negro 
slaves. The Negro cannot be kept down; it was first tried 
by hanging Turner, and next John Brown. The Negro is as- 


piring to be presidents of banks, and if not watched closely he 
will aspire to be President of these United States. The time 
will come when to elect a white man to any office, the Negro 
must be compromised with. You can't judge the Negro; we 
are going on. This movement is the first great effort of the 
Negro to organize a bank. One of the greatest factors in 
saving us is the mighty dollar. Money wipes out all differ- 
ences. White gentlemen from the United States have gone 
to Ha}^ti and courted the short-haired, wealthy, black women, 
danced and associated with them, regardless of their color. 
Color is nothing. What we want is power, ability, skill, 
brain — all the attributes of the other races. No man can keep 
us back ; we are for ourselves and God is for us." 

In February, 1890, the Board of Directors of the Grand 
Fountain held its regular annual session. Before this session 
the question of medical examination for all departments was 
taken up and discussed at length. No agreement could be 
reached. As no general arrangements could be made for the 
examination of the members of the Organization, it was de- 
cided, as a matter of protection, to scale the policies of Class 
E and B, which up to this time had been five hundred dollars 
and two hundred dollars, respectively, for all ages. The fol- 
lowing scale was adopted : Class B, full face value to forty- 
four years; at forty-five years, one hundred and forty dollars; 
fifty years, one hundred and fifteen dollars; fifty-five years, 
ninetv dollars; sixtv vears, sixtv-five dollars. Class E, full 
face value to forty-four years; forty-five years, four hundred 
and fifty dollars: fifty years, four hundred dollars; fifty-five 
years, three hundred and fifty dollars. It was further agreed 
at this session to allow each member of the Class department 
to purchase one share of stock per }^ear in the Savings Bank 
of the Grand Fountain, outside of such stock as could be pur- 
chased from the surplus joining fees and uncalled assessment. 

The third day of April was adopted as the Annual Thanks- 
giving day of the Grand Fountain, and the Grand Worthy 


Master was ordered to issue his proclamation for thanksgiving 
services on or near that day of each year. 

Degree outfits for the Organization were first adopted at 
this session, the first set of degree emblems being made by 
Clarke Davenport, of Lynchburg, Va. 

The growth of the Organization and the increase of mem- 
bership very naturally caused an increase in the number of 
deaths, and it was thought by some to be very advisable for 
the Grand Fountain to conduct an undertaking establish- 
ment, with a central supply house, from which all the Foun- 
tains of the Brotherhood could obtain coffins. It was found 
that in some localities the members were required to pay a 
double jDrice for coffins, and it was to correct this condition 
of affairs that a committee on an undertaking establishment 
was appointed. 

The committee was as follows: Dr. E. L. Gaines, Wash- 
ington, D. C;. S. M. Brown, Danville, Ya. ; Clarke Daven- 
port, Lynchburg, Va., and J. XL Ferguson, Charlottesville, 
Ya. This committee reported, after some years, that the Or- 
ganization could not go into the undertaking business, as pro- 
posed, on account of the various undertaking associations 
which barred the Grand Fountain from membership. 

It having come to the attention of the Board at this session 
that the various Fountains would taJke money from the treas- 
ury for the purchase of property, the following resolution 
was passed: 

"Resolved, That all members of this Order desiring to pur- 
chase property in the name of the Order, from moneys outside 
of those put in the Sick and Mutual Treasury, shall apply to 
the Grand Fountain for such right; after obtaining such 
right from the Grand Fountain, said parties shall have them- 
selves incorporated under the laws of the State in which they 
desire to hold property, as a protection against loss. This 
privilege shall be granted only to members living in far-off 
country places." 


A design for gold pins was presented at this session by Mr. 
Pompey Harris, of Manchester. A committee on gold pins, 
consisting of W. W. Browne, Allen J. Harris and W. P. Bur- 
rell, was appointed. 

Another important act of this session was the passage of 
a resolution whereby it was decided that persons avIio have 
served the chairs in the Fountains and are willing to comply 
with the law of the Grand Fountain in reference to passing, 
but who are physically unable to pass a successful examina- 
tion as to health, may be given their past honors and be al- 
lowed to represent their Fountains in the Grand Fountain. 

The question of burial by committee was taken up and the 
following resolution was adopted: 

"Whereas, there is a large number of our members who 
have suffered greatly by excessively expensive funerals; and 

"Whereas, Ave greatly need funeral reform, as the undertak- 
ers have united themselves at the expense of the societies, byj 
increasing the expenses; therefore, be it 

"Resolved, That we recommend to the different Fountains 
that they take a vote on the question of 'Burial by Commit- 
tee,' and that they instruct their delegates to so vote at the 
Grand Fountain. The vote to be taken by the Fountains at 
the first meeting in July, 1890." 

This was a very important resolution, and, while it was 
not passed upon at the succeeding meeting of the Grand 
Fountain, it formed the basis of some of the most important 
legislation for the Organization. 

During the year 1890 the reports showed that there were 
seventy-nine Subordinate Fountains organized; two thousand 
seven hundred and ninety-two members initiated and granted 
policies. Total receipts for all purposes were thirty thou- 
sand six hundred and ninety-five dollars and fifty-three cents; 
while the disbursements were thirty-four thousand four hun- 
dred and ninety-two dollars and seventy-six cents. The re- 
port of the Cashier showed that the total business of the 

Rosebud Lecturer, Southern Grand Division, Richmond, Va. 


Bank for the year amounted to ninety thousand eight hun- 
dred and fifty-six dollars and forty-nine cents. 

The year 1891 came full of promise. The Bank and Office 
Building at 601-608 North Second street, Richmond, Va., was 
completed and dedicated May 18th, 19th and 20th. The exer- 
cises consisted of speeches by Rev. William W. Browne and 
other prominent members. 

The parade, headed by a large brass band, with William P. 
Burrell as chief marshal, passed over the principal streets. 
Such a thing as a "money-stone day" had never been seen 
before, and thousands flocked to witness the exercises. Thou- 
sands of people took advantage of the opportunity to open an 
account with the Bank. A local company gave the first great 
entertainment, "Pinafore," in the Concert Hall, which was 
crowded to its utmost capacity. 

The Bank was removed from its original quarters, on 
West Jackson street, and installed in its splendid banking 
room, 601 Xorth Second street. The vault was built and 
furnished by colored laborers. The bank safe was removed 
and placed in position also entirely by colored people. It was 
truly a Negroes' money-stone laying. 

The eleventh session of the Grand Fountain convened at 
the Court Street Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Va., Tuesday, 
September 1, 1891. There were representatives at this session, 
by letter and delegate, from four hundred and ten Fountains. 
The idea of holding the Grand Fountain permanently at 
Richmond, Va., was first suggested at this session, though it 
did not at first meet with general approval. 

The following speech on the work of the Organization and 
how to do it was delivered by Rev. W. L. Taylor, the General 
Messenger of the Class department: 

"We have met to consider three very important points. We 
are not here to make display, but to teach as to the working 
of the Fountains. I need not take so much time along this 
line, since all of you are teachers. No man can become a 


Past Master until he has first become a member of the Subor- 
dinate Fountain and served the chairs. There are some who 
have these honors, but not here, I hope, who do not observe 
the law. 

"Turn to page 24, Article 11, Section 1. There are many 
who cannot initiate nor degree, who claim to be Past Officers. 
They never read the Constitution nor have it read to them. 

"I heard an elder say, 'I have never rubbed my head on a 
college wall'; but he knew more than some of the boys that 
had rubbed their heads against the wall. We find many 
Past Officers who bring defeat everywhere they go, from bad 
management. I once read of a father who took a little too 
much 'red eye' and walked in the snow to a bar-room; and 
his son ; in looking for the father, stepped directly in his 
father's tracks to the bar-room. I have seen Past Officers 
who thought themselves the Fountains. I have found Past 
Officers who claimed that they had no right to pay dues; 
they have been in since 1885, and have so instructed the Secre- 
tary. I found this to be the case in Washington. This was a 
great obstacle to our success in Washington. These same 
ones cry out, 'All the money has gone down to Richmond to 
pay assessments.' Many chairmen are paid money and keep 
it in their pockets ten days, and the Fountains become un- 
benefited. The Grand Secretary writes, and these parties 
claim that the Secretary mailed at the same time they did. I 
appeal to you, Past Officers, to stick to your pledges and train 
your Fountains properly. Follow the example of the Grand 
Master, who says, 'Come on, boys.' 

"Past Officers must lead in finance by paying their own 
dues first. Let each one take his own duty to heart. Pay up 
your dues, obey the law, and see that each member does the 
same. Let us unite and work for the upbuilding of the Order. 
Many of the Past Officers bring their Fountains in disunion 
by pulling against each other. I have found more trouble 
among the Past Officers than among Subordinate members. 
Past Officers must not be drags in their Fountains, as we 



should be trainers. All Grand Fountain offices are to be 
filled by Past Officers. Every Past Officer must by his work 
prove himself worthy of promotion. The senior Past is usu- 
ally Degree Master. He must organize a Degree Chamber 
from among his officers in the Fountains. Past Officers go 
around and poison the minds of the members against the De- 


Director and Agent for the Old Folk's Homes, Elizabeth, N. J. 

gree Master for selfish ends. Unruly Past Officers must be 
properly reprimanded. Past Officers are equally related to 
the Rosebud as to other departments. Past Officers fail to 
enforce the tallying system, and thereby the Subordinate Foun- 
tain loses money. Every one must put a child into the Rose- 
bud. Rosebuds have gone down in the hands of the Past Offi- 


cers. Past Officers say it is not their fault. If you will in- 
terest yourselves, go and see the children's parents; they will 
be encouraged to keep the children in. 

"You are also equally related to the Business and Insurance 
department. This Organization is upon the general govern- 
ment plan, and fills one with enthusiasm. This is a God- 
sent institution to emancipate our people from financial dis- 

"Every representative in Congress must be a citizen, a tax- 
payer and a voter. So every representative to the Grand 
Fountain must be a qualified member to all the departments. 
Let us die by the Constitution and sustain the Grand Foun- 
tain. When men would violate the law, call them to their 
obligation. We have Past Officers who iight the Classes. All 
parts of this Organization are distinct, but united in one. 
You can't fight one without fighting them all. You cannot 
harm a finger of the body without hurting any other part of 
the body." 

Hon. John Mitchell, Jr., Director of the Savings Bank of 
the Grand Fountain, made the following address: 

"There are those who have never dreamed of a Negro or- 
ganization of such magnitude and taking up so much in its 
scope. Negroes have never listened to such reports by Ne- 
groes, for Xegroes and of Negroes as have been read here 

"The Cashier has shown in his report that there has been 
handled one hundred and forty-four thousand dollars. Every 
cent has been accounted for. The Negro has been noted for 
hog-stealing and chicken-stealing, but never has a Negro been 
known to go to Canada with a stolen Bank on his back. We 
owe you members and officers the thanks of our hearts for 
your devotion to the principles of this Order. 

"We are cursed by the ghost of misrepresentation. Look 
at the number of white cashiers living in Canada. Our Cash- 
ier lives at home. Whenever the Grand Fountain makes a 


recommendation, I stand ready to bow in order that the work 
may succeed. We see issued from the office typewritten docu- 
ments, mimeograph work, and we see in the office all the in- 
ventions of modern science necessary to carry on a first-class 

"I appreciate your feelings when you see resolutions offered 
that endanger the progress of the Order. We cannot see as 
leaders. I am with you leaders as long as you bring success. 
You have brought success for the past ten years, and we are 
willing to keep up the march as long as those endowments 
continue to slide down the greasy plank. I don't care who 
sends them, just so they come. I have no questions to ask. 
When success stops, then I am going to ask you questions ; not 
until then. Produce the fact or a parallel case, where a liber- 
ated slave in twenty-five years has produced a bank. Go back 
and carry the glad news to your Fountains of what the True 
Reformers are doing. Join us, or be ground to powder. I 
am the proudest man to-day that God ever made, because so 
far we have outlived the opposition to us. May my tongue 
cleave to the roof of my mouth and my hand forget its cun- 
ning — yes, I would be too base, too mean to be called a man, 
if I did not give this Organization my untiring support." 

In the report of the Grand Worthy Master, made to this 
session, it was recommended that we do away with the custom 
of paying heirs in the Fountains on account of the death of 
the children of the members, and that all attention be paid 
to the building of Rosebuds. Up to this time the members 
of the Grand Fountain had paid a tax at the death of all 

During the year 1891 an attempt was made to organize an 
opposition organization in Washington, by the name of 
"Peace and Light." The attempt was not successful. 

There were added during the year 1891 eighty-six Subordi- 
nate Fountains and three thousand one hundred and eighty- 
two members. The receipts from all sources were fifty-six 


Rosebud Lecturer, Western Grand Division, Chicago, 111. 


thousand five hundred and thirty-six dollars. There were 
twelve Rosebud Fountains and four hundred and eighty- 
four children added to the Rosebud department. The report 
of the Cashier shows that seventy-nine thousand and fifty- 
two dollars had been received on deposits during the year by 
the Bank. 

The most remarkable speech, as well as the one most benefi- 
cial, made at the session of 1891, was made by Mr. M. E. 
Gerst, a delegate from South Boston, which was as follows: 

''''Grand Worthy Master: 

"With mystifying thoughts, but with animated approba- 
tion, I look upon this gathering as one of the grandest Or- 
ganizations ever founded and fostered by man. No institu- 
tion, save the Church of God, is with it comparable. And 
you, Grand Worthy Master, I am told, are the great pioneer 
of this movement, which we all acknowledge to be in the right 
direction. We look upon you as the channel through which 
the great blessing has come. 

"Brethren, let me remind you of the fact that we are to-day 
furnishing literary geniuses with luminary matter that will 
be to the future history of the Afro-American Race as the 
great nebula sun is to this terrestrial ball upon which we 

"But a few less than thirty years ago thirteen States of 
this Union held that this class of Americans called Africans 
were fit only to be slaves; and they supported their belief, as 
many as did believe it, with arms and by sacrificing of homes 
and human lives. But ere the peals of their pieces of war had 
ceased reverberating among the western hills, and ere the 
sound had kissed the calm surface of the peaceful ocean, a 
Negro in the person of Frederick Douglass rushed to the front, 
and his every action seemed to utter the words, 'Peace and 
enfranchisement to my people means to make us men of whom 
every man must be mindful.' 

"Could Douglass have looked along the mighty vista and 


into the hidden mysteries of the future, I doubt not but that 
he would have named for a Joshua to lead, to harmonize, or- 
ganize and utilize the latent energies of his people, the man 
who occupies yonder chair. 

"Had the future to him unveiled herself and shown a little 
more of the history of the Afro-American Race, for the first 
banker identified with the Race, she would have named W. W. 

"And I doubt not, either, that she would have been able to 
name for these United States a President among the sombre 
sons of Ham; stranger things have happened. Americans of 
color are surprising the world. Conscientious writers are now 
loath to speak of the Afro-American in the same collective 
sense that they could with greater propriety twenty-five years 
ago. We can no longer be generalized. Start at the alms- 
house, and in every sphere of life, from there to the congres- 
sional halls of this great republic, and one of us can be found 
doing just like other folks. 

"The grandest institution of recent origin and by a colored 
man founded for the Race, North, South, East and West, is 
the institution of which we are now gathered to celebrate the 
eleventh anniversary. 

"This institution having surpassing energy, finance, brain 
and charity to support it, let us hope for the grandest achieve- 
ment ever effected by an interchange of thought or combina- 
tion of sacred interests. 

"By her may the long persecuted American of color be 
lifted to the elevated planes of distinction, honor and worth. 

"We have lived to see erected by an Afro-American builder, 
assisted by Afro-American laborers and for Afro- Americans, 
one of the finest bank buildings in the Old Dominion State. 
No government erected or supplied it; no Northern capitalist 
was concerned; it was endowed by no institution of charity; 
but it is purely a representation of Afro- American skill, 
energy and push. Could we ascend into midair and look back 
at this great earth of ours, we would see monuments dotting 

.,: S s5ii tiffin. 

Chief and Rosebud Lecturer, Southern Grand Division 1905, Wilmington, N. C, 


its surface, expressing in a language more durable than words 
commemorative of some great exploit of the past. 

"That Bank building in Richmond may duly serve that 
purpose in the history of the True Reformers. 

"We are now building sentiments to be transmitted, which 
should be worthy of its grandeur; for in these lie the appeals 
to futurity not to be had through any other medium of ex- 
pression, however powerful or impressive. 

"Without such a sentiment this great Organization will be 
unknown to coming generations, and that building will stand 
silently over the grave of the dead past. But such is not 
probable, though possible. No such end will be the destiny of 
this great Organization. The grand edifices by her erected, 
her acts of relieving the needs of widows and orphans of the 
land, shall be perpetually eloquent. They shall tell the story 
not only of the founder and his nearest associates and com- 
peers, but likewise of the multitude of their humbler asso- 
ciates who lived and died loyal to this organization; whose 
names will be written only in the memory of God. From that 
story our children shall learn the first instincts of unity, tem- 
perance and charity. 

"The wayfarer to whose unfamiliar ears our words and 
signs convey no sense, shall not fail of its meaning. And all 
the dwellers upon this and other soils shall be reminded and 
admonished what manner of man an Afro- American and 
True Reformer ought to be. Of this Organization we have 
joyfully beheld the past progress. 'What will be the future?' 
is the grand question. 

"The gift of prophecy is mercifully withheld from man. 
But kindlier than prophecy, hope stands in its place. A hope 
that is just and reasonable, instructed by what has gone be- 
fore. God grant that the emotions of this day may raise us 
far above the jargons and turmoils of the quarrels of the 
hour, for the outcome of which we wake so solicitously. We 
are fully convinced that on their account we need not despair 
of our Organization, which unity and devotion have brought 


out resplendent from darker days than it shall ever again 

"As I look forward to the future of this Organization, I see 
a prosperity more widely diffused among men, but not with- 
out vicissitudes and blemishes, the mistakes and the sorrows 
through which humanity's path always leads; but in which 
the gain shall always surpass the loss, and the better surmount 
the worse. 

"Let us dream not of failure or despondency, but let us 
labor together for God, for good and for suffering humanity, 
with the sincerest hopes that the best course may be pursued, 
and that the best plan may be adopted ; that those things 
which have stigmatized Americans of color may be eradicated 

"This Organization clearly demonstrates to the world that 
we are not altogether copyists, but inventors as well. Besides 
several mechanical inventions, Ave have invented an Organi- 
zation that is establishing banks, buying real estate and erect- 
ing beautiful edifices, thereby puzzling business experts and 
calling forth the wonder and admiration of the world. 

"Brethren, we are on the march; let not one fall pierced 
by-sword or javelin in the back, but ever front and charge 
the foe; and if we fall, we fall blessed martyrs. 

"We have arraigned ourselves against selfish individualism, 
intemperance and non-accumulativeness. We mean to encour- 
age our people to get homes and means upon which they may 
independently subsist. We are tired of being treated as a fa- 
mous lecturer was treated in the State of Pennsylvania. After 
the lecture he came for his fee. He was asked, 'Do you believe 
in Benjamin Franklin's maxims?' 'Yes,' was the reply. 
'Well, Franklin says, in his Poor Richard's Maxims, that time 
is money.' 'Yes, I have read and believe,' said the speaker. 
'Then, my friend, if time is money and thee believes it, I will 
keep the money and let thee take it out in time.' Grand 
Worthy Master, we are learning to take more of our shares 
in money and property and less in time and trifles. 



"In this great struggle for unity, property and finance, let 
each one of us act discreetly, and for God's sake pierce not 
our brother's heart with thorns for lucre nor for honor's sake. 
Let us work harmoniously with and for each other. Acknowl- 
edge and sustain our head in all things by wisdom and dis- 

Rev. b. w. rivers, 

Chief, Deputy and Deputy-General Southern Grand Division 1909, Richmond, Va. 

cretion on our part, and acknowledge God as our Almighty 
Father and the Head of us all. 

"The die is cast. The time has come when we must all hang 
together or else we are liable to hang separately without 
friend or finance and without judge or jury. 

"Brethren, I submit to your judgment to say on which side 


the advantage lies when the comparison is made between 
unity and wealth and disunity and poverty. For, 

" 'Once to every man and nation 

Comes the moment to decide, 
In the strife of truth and falsehood, 

For the good or evil side; 
And that choice goes by forever, 

'Twixt that darkness and the light' " 

The twelfth annual session of the Grand Fountain was held 
at Richmond, Va., September -1, 180:2, and was the first ses- 
sion held in the new hall. 

The welcome address of this session was delivered by Pro- 
fessor J. E. Jones, and responded to by Hon. John H. Smythe, 
ex-Minister to Liberia. 

The report of the committee on credentials showed that 
there were four hundred and eighty-three Fountains repre- 
sented by letter or delegate. In the year 1892 the department 
known as the Bureau of Information was established, with 
Hon. John H. Smythe as Chief ami Mrs. Lena Gray, of 
Washington, a- Assistant Chief. 

The Reformer, which was described as a tract issued for the 
purpose of carrying light to the Organization on all subjects, 
at once became the headlight. Rev. Browne discovered that 
it was impossible to communicate with the great masses of the 
Race without a paper, and so The Reformer was started. It 
was first a bi-monthly: afterward it was made a monthly. 

Probably the most important and most far-reaching thing 
that was done in this year (1892) Avas the adoption of what 
was known as "Life Membership, for Fountains, Classes and 

It was decided some time ago that dividends would be de- 
clared in 1892. The amount of dividend had not been decided 
upon before the Board of Directors had their meeting in 1892. 
After looking into the account of stock outstanding and the 
earnings of the Banking and Insurance department, it was 


decided that the Organization would be able at all times to 
pa}^ a dividend of twenty per cent., and so it was decided that 
in November, 1892, a dividend would be declared at the rate 
of twenty per cent. 

For the protection of the Brotherhood and to increase in- 
terest in the Bank, it was decided that all members of the 
Fountains could purchase ten shares of stocks, all members 
of Class B, fifteen shares, and all members of Class E, twenty- 
five shares. In support of this, the following recommenda- 
tions and reasons therefor were presented by Rev. Wm. W. 
Browne : 


There are a great many members in the Fountains who are 
physically unable to join the Classes, and as we desire to unite 
the members of the Fountains and the Classes with one grand, 
common aim and object, and that, to establish banks through- 
out the entire jurisdiction of our common Brotherhood, and 
to have the members representing each department to receive 
equal benefits where like burdens are borne ; therefore, I recom- 
mend that each member of the Subordinate Fountains be 
allowed to purchase ten shares of the Bank stock, which, at 
the present rate of dividend, will make said member's mem- 
bership self-supporting. Everything being equal, I see no 
reason why the present rate of dividend should not be con- 


Ten shares of stock at five dollars per share would cost the 
member fifty dollars. The dividend on the ten shares of stock 
would be ten dollars. At that rate the stock would double 
itself every five years. Ten dollars would enable the member 
of the Fountain whose dues are fifty cents a month (semi- 
annual tax, thirty cents per year) to pay his dues and have 
three dollars and seventy cents a year clear of all expenses. 
Again, should the member get from his ten shares of stock 
ten dollars a year for five years, said member has received 

Deputy-General Western Grand Division 1905, Meadville, Va. 


every dollar the stock cost, and on the sixth year he has ten 
dollars clear of all expenses. Again, his dividend would re- 
main clear the balance of his natural life. 


How shall these shares be taken up? Just as the member 
chooses to take them up — all at once or just as his means will 
enable him to do. But whenever he gets ten paid-up shares, 
he will have a life membership, provided, however, that he 
gives a written order to the Keal Estate department to deduct 
his dues annually in advance. 


Each member holding a life membership will be allowed, 
should he need a loan from the Bank at any time, to deposit 
his policy as security for two-thirds of its face value. The 
time for which the loan is to be made to be agreed upon by 
the Bank and the applicant for the loan. 


When the limitation of time agreed upon by the Bank and 
the applicant for the loan has expired, and the applicant 
does not come and pay the note, or make arrangement for its 
extension after being notified in the usual way by which the 
Bank notifies, then the note shall be protested. Then, if it 
is not redeemed within thirty days, the subject of the loan 
shall forfeit both policy and life membership. The Cashier 
of the Bank will notify the said member's Fountain, and the 
Fountain said member's family. 


At the main office in person, or through the Chief of the 
Division, wherever there is a Division organized, or if there 
be no Division, through the Messenger of the Fountain, and 


where there k no Messenger, through the Worthy Master or 
Secretary, or through any of the authorized agents of the 
Grand Fountain. 


There are such differences in the face value of the different 
Class policies that it becomes quite difficult to get a uniform 
rule of action; unlike in the Fountain policies, where all are 
the same and all dues are the same ; therefore I recommend 
the following: 

That all the policies of B and E Classes be made negotiable 
for a loan of one-fourth their face value when the holder of 
said policy's membership becomes self-supporting. 

Negotiahle for One-third. — When the holder or holders of 
numbers one, two, three and four of E Class own fifteen 
shares of stock fully paid up, all such holders may obtain a 
loan of one-third the face value of their policies. All owners 
of twenty-five shares, holding policies for the above amount, 
can obtain a loan of two-thirds the face value of their policies. 


One-third. — The holders of numbers one and two of B Class 
policies can obtain a loan, if desired, of one-third the face 
value of the above policies when the holder owns ten shares 
of paid-up stock. Said holders can obtain a loan of two- 
thirds of the face value if the holder owns fifteen shares of 
stock fully paid up. 

The holders of numbers three, four and five of B Class 
policies can obtain a loan of one-third the face value of their 
policies whenever they own nine shares of paid-up stock. 

Ttvo-thirds. — They can obtain a loan of two-thirds the face 
value of their policies whenever they own twelve shares of 
paid-up stock. 


Should death overtake a life member in the Fountains or 
Classes before the dividends on the stock received by said 



member equals a sum equal to the amount paid by said mem- 
ber for stock, the heirs or beneficiaries shall be allowed to 
draw the dividends on said stock until the amount of divi- 
dends paid to deceased during lifetime and that paid to heirs 
after his death shall be equal to the amount paid for stock 
by said deceased member. After this is done, the stock shall 
revert to the Brotherhood. 

Deputy-General and Grand Worthy Chaplain 1892, Beaver Dam, Va. 


Each member of the Classes, and those who may become 
members hereafter, shall be allowed to purchase a sufficient 
amount of stock to make their membership self-supporting 
just as soon as they may desire to do so. 


The Class policies shall be subject to the same restrictions 
as the Fountain policies in case of failure to meet the note 
according to time and terms agreed upon at the bank. 




First, We are a laboring people, and as such our oppor- 
tunities for earning wages sufficient to compensate us for 
labor performed are not always good. 

Second. We are a poor, homeless people, floating from one 
man's farm to another throughout the rural portions of the 
country and throughout the United States; in towns and 
cities, from one real estate agent's house to another, as a gen- 
eral thing. But we rejoice to know that the cause of this 
condition is no fault of ours; yet should we remain in this 
condition when we have an opportunity to get out of it, then 
the responsibility shifts from others to us. 

Third. It is hard for a people in our condition to get a 
little money (which to us in our necessitous condition is much) 
when we need it by way of a loan, because we are unable to 
secure it from those outside ourselves, who will have it to 
loan, without satisfactory security. It often happens that 
we have money in our pockets, in our society treasuries, in 
banks. Those who put money in the society treasuries and 
bank cannot get the use of a sufficient amount to meet their 
needs, but others that do not care a fig for us or our societies 
can get the use of it. In fact, it has been the means of many 
of this class of people making a fortune. Now the reason 
for this state of things in societies is quite plain, because we 
have established no safe mode or system by which we could 
put the moneys of our societies into circulation through our- 
selves for the benefit of the membership, who bore the bur- 
dens in the heat of the da} 7 for the purpose of accumulating 
these moneys; and those moneys were only available to take 
care of the sick and bury the dead. 

Fourth. It is plain that we can assist one another under 
the old mode or system of circulating moneys among us in 
two ways. We can ship your body out of the world if you 
have packed your trunk, but if you desire to put yourself in a 


condition to stay in the world, we cannot under the old sys- 
tem help you. The plan I have offered will change this state 
of affairs. Those who labor, who are provident and accumu- 
late these moneys, can put the same in circulation among 
ourselves, instead of placing them in the hands of strangers, 
and too often our enemies ; to the best material interest of our 
Race, and can assist the living to live and help the dying to die. 
The undertaking project was abandoned. To make it a success 
would necessitate the establishment of a manufactory; under 
the existing circumstances that would be too heavy to carry 
on in our present condition in this progressive age, in which 
brain plays the part of muscle in the past. 

Fifth. I offer for your consideration and approval a Loan 
and Building department, to be put in operation just as soon 
as the present plan of life membership gets in good working 
order. I hope you will assent to the Board of Directors put- 
ting it into operation as soon as practicable. It can be given 
perpetual life by placing behind it the proceeds of the Grand 
Fountain portion received from sale of shares of stock. We 
shall, from and after November 1, 1892, commence paying 
the looked-for, talked-for, worked-for, prayed-for, dividend 
for the next twenty years; that is, if we can continue our 
Organization, and the chances are one hundred to one in favor 
of continuation. I hope it will be the pleasure of the Grand 
Fountain in session, or by a committee, to buy out and take 
entire control of the Regalia department and relieve the 
present owner. I recommend that we put in a mantua de- 
partment, and thus make it larger and more useful to both 
labor and trade. 

In this report to this session of the Grand Fountain, it 
will be seen that Rev. Browne recommended the establish- 
ment of a Building and Loan department to be put in opera- 
tion as soon as the stock of the Savings Bank of the Grand 
Fountain had all been taken up under the plan above men- 

De. B. L. OLIVER. 
Oh.ef and Director> ^^ Ky _ 


The experience of later years showed that the system of 
loans on policies and stock was not wise, and it was discon- 

The report of the Grand Worthy Secretary shows that 
sevent}^-three new Fountains were organized during the year, 
with an addition of three thousand seven hundred and sev- 
enty new members. The Rosebud Fountains represented x in 
this session numbered one hundred and eight, with an addi- 
tion of six hundred and nine new members. From 1885, the 
time of the organization of the Rosebud department, to 1892, 
the headquarters for the Rosebud was in Petersburg, Va., 
with Mrs. Eliza Allen as Governess and Mrs. M. A. Berry, 
Junior Grand Worthy Secretary. In this year the work was 
all consolidated under the work of the Grand Worthy Sec- 
retary, with headquarters at Richmond, Ya. 

The Grand Worthy Master recommended in his report 
that the Regalia department, owned by him, be purchased by 
the Grand Fountain, and in addition to making regalia, a 
dressmaking department be added. 

It was in the year 1892 that the first Deputy Generals were 
appointed, as follows: Rev. C. H. Phillips, Pennsylvania, 
New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and adjacent Northern 
States. Rev. J. T. Carpenter, Maryland, Delaware and East- 
ern Shore, Ya. Rev. W. L. Taylor, Yirginia, North Carolina. 
South Carolina, West Yirginia and Georgia. 

In this year the first Rosebud Lecturer was appointed, in 
the person of Mrs. Lena J. Gray, of Washington, D. C, whose 
duties were indicated as follows: "To be head of the Rose- 
bud work as organizer and lecturer, with an appropriation 
of one hundred and eighty dollars, and six dollars for each 
Rosebud of twenty or more members organized by her." She 
was to lecture and build Rosebuds whenever called upon, and 
prepare for publication a circular setting forth the Rosebud 
work bi-monthly. 



The thirteenth year, ending September 4, 1893, was a re- 
markable year in many respects. The Order did more work 
than in any previous year. Of course, this would be ex- 
pected, for a newly built mechanism of any kind would run 
more smoothly as it aged, and if it be kept properly lubri- 
cated and adjusted, would become more efficient in perform- 
ing the functions for which it was invented. 

Likewise, the Grand Fountain, now a full dozen years old, 
had been nursed and watched by its friends; and wherever 
readjustment had been found necessary there had been no 
delay; newness and doubt had entirely disappeared; expe- 
rience and confidence had replaced them ; the rough surface 
of her machinery had worn smooth, and the whir of her 
"wheels in a wheel" was delighting her manipulators. Her 
products were enjoyed by her members, and the world made 
to acknowledge her success. Every department of the work 
was found in good condition. Much new territory was cov- 
ered, the Grand Worthy Master planting the banner as far 
in the Northwest as Michigan. 

One new department was created, i. <?., the Bureau of In- 

The Regalia department was purchased by the Grand 
Fountain at a cost of three thousand dollars. This amount 
was thought by some to be exorbitant, but it has proven itself 
to be one of the best paying investments. It received during 
the year from sales a sufficient amount to pay all running 
expenses and leave a cash surplus for the general fund of 
six hundred and sixty-seven dollars and seventy-five cents, 
besides a stock on hand of the value of six hundred and forty- 
six dollars and twenty-eight cents. At this rate, in three years 
it would pay for itself. It filled nearly one thousand orders, 
giving general satisfaction to its patrons. It was placed under 

Medical Director 1909, Richmond, Va. 


the care of Miss Martha Wilson, assisted by Mrs. M. E. 

The growth during the year was phenomenal, both as to 
number of new Fountains and members entering old Foun- 
tains. This was due in a great measure to the manner in 
which the Grand Master marshaled his force of Deputies. He 
appointed the three most experienced to be Deputj^-Generals 
(Rev. W. L. Taylor, at Norfolk. Va.; Rev. J. T. Carpenter, 
at Baltimore. Md., and Rev. C. H. Phillips, at Philadelphia, 
Pa.) , and assigned each to a jurisdiction. Under these he placed 
less experienced Deputies. He required all to report to him 
before organizing any work, that he might see the character 
of their work. This prevented the formation of weak, sickly 
Fountains, as had been often done in the past. The Grand 
Worthy Master gave his personal attention to all matters 
pertaining to the welfare of the Order, whether little or 

In all large cities, and in places where the work justified 
it, divisions were organized and personally instructed by him. 
The result of this supervision was unprecedented success. 
There were ninety-three Fountains organized and a large 
number of conventions. Four thousand and ninety-one per- 
sons entered this department. The new Fountains averaged 
twenty benefited members instead of from twelve to fifteen, 
as heretofore. 

The Rosebud work also showed a remarkable increase. 
Much success was had in new additions, and in bringing back 
the lapsed ; so that the increase was sixty-six per cent. Every 
Fountain should have a Rosebud attached to it as a nursery 
to the Fountain. This would insure a healthy increase of 
trained young workers to each Fountain. A trained mem- 
bership is more reliable under all circumstances than an un- 
trained one. "Train up a child in the True Reformers, and 
when he is old he will not depart from it." 

There was not so large a growth in the new membership of 
the Classes, but a large number paid up their back accounts 


(some in this way paid up dues for three or four years), 
thus bringing up the membership to a sufficient number in 
Class B to pay the face value of its policies, and in Class E 
to pay three hundred and eighty-four dollars, raising the 
Class department to a higher altitude than ever. 

Probably the greatest achievement of the year was the 
paying of dividends. Many who thought they had a valid 
cause for contention against the Grand Fountain were 
silenced. For in November, 1892, a dividend of four hundred 
and thirty-seven dollars was declared; on April 1, 1893, six 
hundred and twenty-eight dollars; May 1st, two dollars; June 
1st, fifteen dollars; July 1st, three dollars, making in all one 
thousand and eighty-five dollars. And thus another gun of 
enmity was effectually spiked. 


The Grand Fountain reached a paying basis, for every de- 
partment was able to bear its own expense and some of them 
to show a flattering surplus. The receipts of the bank for 
the 3 T ear were one hundred and sixty thousand seven hundred 
and twenty-seven dollars and ninety cents; total amount 
handled was three hundred and twenty-nine thousand eight 
hundred and forty-seven dollars and fifty-nine cents; making 
a grand total for the five years' life of the Bank, eight hun- 
dred and twenty-one thousand seven hundred and seventy- 
three dollars and two cents — approaching the million dollar 
mark. The disbursements amounted to one hundred and 
sixty-seven thousand four hundred and twenty-four dollars 
and twenty-seven cents, leaving a balance of nine thousand 
and eighty-two dollars and ninety-two cents, of which bal- 
ance one thousand one hundred and four dollars and forty -nine 
cents was credited to the "profits account."' 

The Bank found it necessary to discontinue the acceptance 
of individual checks on other banks in payment of Fountain 

The practice of sending personal checks drawn on other 

S. "W. HALL. 
Chief and Director, Danville, Va,i 

GRAND FOUNTAIN, U. 0. T. R. 155 

banks to pay Fountain accounts showed that the Fountains 
had taken the money of the Grand Fountain and placed it in 
other banks rather than in their own Bank (and that, in the 
name of one individual, for most banks refuse society money 
unless it is deposited in the name of one person). But in 
some cases it showed that the Fountains were giving their 
money to Messengers, who used it and sent to the Savings 
Bank their worthless checks. This class gave the Bank much 
trouble during the year. These personal checks were fre- 
quently protested, and since they had been charged up to the 
Savings Bank, it was obliged to redeem them from the clear- 
ing house. So a conference of the Bank officers and the 
President resulted in an order to return all such checks in 
the future. 

This careful looking after the interest* of the Grand Foun- 
tain was fully justified, as evidenced by an incident of the 
great financial panic of this year (1893), when so many bank- 
ing and business enterprises were driven to the wall. The 
Savings Bank of the True Reformers, like Gibraltar, stood 
unmoved by the weight of the financial wave which engulfed 
the business hopes of older and more heavily capitalized 
banks in all parts of the world. Mr. Hill, the Cashier, thus 
graphically wrote of it: 

"Amid the crash of banks, the hush of the manufacturers' 
hammers, their wheels, cogs and belts, your Savings Bank 
moves gloriously on, while none dare to molest her or make 
her afraid. She has paid every check presented to her, while 
others have dropped their heads, drooped their wings and 
failed, having their very life choked out of them. Believe me, 
not a bank in this city, and not many others in this State, 
are cashing depositors' checks, though they may have 

To show that this was not "all poetry," though put in 
poetic language, an extract from The Times (Richmond, Va.) 
of September 6, 1893, is here given : 

"The Savings Bank, Grand Fountain of True Reformer s^ 


the only colored banking institution in this city, has made a 
record during the recent financial difficulties. It is the only 
hank which honored all checks and did not stop paying full 
value in currency. Mr. C. P. Rady, the clerk of the School 
Board, a fete days ago was desirous of securing the necessary 
currency to pay the salaries of the janitors of the public 
schools in cash instead of certified checks. * * * He called 
up by telephone every banking institution in this city, but 
they refused to honor his check. Lastly he called up the 
colored bank on North Second street, and explained his re- 
quest. He teas told at once to bring the check and receive 
the currency. Thinking that he might have been misunder- 
stood as to the amount asked for, he repeated his question, 
which met with the same reply. IV hen I called at the Bank 
yesterday I was informed by the teller that the institution 
had never stopped paying out currency for checks, and that 
its own checks had been readily taken everywhere.'''' 

In referring to the above, W. W. Browne said, "Sons of 
them that afflict thee shall come bending unto thee." 

The Keal Estate department was founded this year, and 
George W. Lewis made its chief. Heretofore this business 
had been in the hands of the Cashier of the Bank and the 
Grand Worthy Secretary jointly. But the increase of the busi- 
ness of the Bank and that of the Grand Worthy Secretary 
rendered it impossible for them to give necessary attention to 
real estate, consequently there was a falling off in this line. 

To facilitate this work and to make the real estate interest 
more secure and satisfactory in management, it was separated 
into a distinct department. 

Property was purchased for and in the name of the Grand 
Fountain as follows: 

In Baltimore, McL, Xo. 310 St. Paul street, and in Man- 
chester, Va., that in Baltimore being a pressed brick front 
building in the business portion of the city, lot 62% feet by 
131 feet. It was one of the most substantially built houses 



in the city of Baltimore, and contained twenty-one rooms. It 
was repaired at a cost of nearly two thousand dollars. 

The other purchase, at Manchester, on the corner of Hull 
and Fourteenth streets, was a brick building, with lot front- 
ing thirty feet on Hull street and running back a distance 
of one hundred and sixty feet, the frontage being on the 
principal business thoroughfare in the city. The list of prop- 
erty owned by the Grand Fountain was: 

Dr. M. B. JONES. 

Director and Chief of Finance 1897, 

Richmond, Va. 


Assistant Cashier Bank, Richmond, Va. 

The building at Eichmond, Va., Nos. 604-606-608 North 
Second street; a three-story building at Danville; a two-story 
hall building, with two dwellings adjoining, situated at Roan- 
oke, Va. (this property fronts on three streets) ; two dwelling 
houses in the city of Eichmond, Va., one located at No. 607 
West Leigh street, the other on Thirtieth street, between O 
and P streets; lot in the city of Lynchburg, fronting 82% 
feet on Fifth avenue and running back 165 feet, on which 
was erected a magnificent hall; four acres of land at Cen- 


tralia, Va., about half way between the cities of Richmond 
and Petersburg ; thirty acres of fertile and well timbered land 
in the county of Henrico, Va., in close proximity to the city 
of Richmond; dwelling house and lot at Hampton, Va., the 
growing and popular summer resort; a triangular lot in the 
city of Washington, D. C, the national capital, beautifully 
located on three streets — I, Twelfth and Vermont avenue — all 
conservatively valued at fifty-four thousand dollars. Besides 
this, the following property was leased and controlled by the 
Grand Fountain, L e., one three-story building in Washing- 
ton, D. C., corner Fourth and X streets, and another, a three- 
story building, in the city of Norfolk, Va., No. 122 Queen 
street. The whole amount of rents for the year was six 
thousand six hundred and thirteen dollars and ninety-two 
cents, all being collected except three hundred and seventy- 
nine dollars and fifty cents. 


The foundation work for the building of Homes for Old 
Folks was begun this year. Twenty-seven dollars were de- 
posited as a nucleus for a necessary debt we owe to the aged. 
While the plan is to utilize the powers, influence and organ- 
ize machinery of the Grand Fountain, and to build and 
manage them under its auspices, yet their benefits will extend 
to "any person, not a member of the Order, who desires to aid 
in this good work ; and such person shall have the same right, 
privilege and consideration, in proportion to the interest 
taken and benefits desired, as a member of the Order.' 5 

Such was the increase in the volume of business that it was 
found necessary to increase the office force. The business of 
the general office was divided and a chief placed at the head 
of each department. General Officers: George W. Lewis, 
Chief of Real Estate department; John H. Smythe, Chief of 
Bureau of Information, and Edward Ellis, Accountant. In 
the Grand Worthy Secretary's department there were as 
follows: M. B. Jones, Chief of Finance; Mrs. M. A. Berry, 

gHand fountain, u. o. t. r. 159 

Chief of Records; Miss Lottie P. James, Chief of Supplies; 
Mr. A. W. Holmes, Storekeeper of Supplies and Shipper; 
Miss Martha Wilson, Chief of Regalia; with the following 
assistants and clerks: Mr. M. E. Gerst, Miss S. C. Crump, 
Mr. Frank C. Boling, Mr. Benjamin A. Cephas, Mr. Roger J. 
Kyles, Miss Martha Wilson, Mrs. A. W. Holmes, Mrs. M. F. 
Armstead, Mr. A. W. Holmes, Mrs. Blackwell and Miss Pearl 

Total correspondence handled were fifty-six thousand three 
hundred and one pieces, and twenty-one thousand one hun- 
dred and nine letters filed from the various departments. The 
Bureau of Information published for eight months a tract 
called "The Reformer"; such was its importance and useful- 
ness that it was increased in size and made a bi-monthly 
paper. Other publications by this Bureau were a revision of 
"The Advance and Digest," a revision of the "Guide Book," 
"The Link" and "The Tract," of which Dr. Alexander Crum- 
mell wrote to Mr. Smythe, "You and Mr. Browne are doing 
a great work in two different lines, viz., the educational and 
the economical. Mr. Browne has somewhat of the Napoleonic 
quality, only more morally elevated and unselfish." Much 
literature was sent out for the instruction of the members of 
the Order. 


There were one hundred and eighty-seven deaths. On ac- 
count of these, Class E paid the sum of five thousand five 
hundred and eighty-six dollars in claims; Class B the sum 
of two thousand six hundred and sixty-five dollars, and the 
Grand Fountain paid twenty-one thousand and ninety-one 
dollars and eighty-seven cents. To raise this amount, each 
Fountain paid from the treasury, for each benefited member, 
one dollar and eighty-nine cents, or one cent for each death. 
This fact showed the superiority of this Organization over all 
other competitors. In the old societies, to bury one member 
would cost fifty cents each, and to bury one hundred and 



eighty-seven members would cost ninety-three dollars and 
fifty cents each. The True Reformers' plan saves ninety-one 
dollars and seventy cents on each hundred deaths. 

In addition to the endowment benefits, these members re- 
ceived one thousand four hundred and eighty-one dollars and 
eighty-eight cents in sick dues. The rate of deaths to the 
thousand during this year shows conclusively that where the 

Rev. S. W. SUTTON. 

P. G. W. Vice-Master, Director and 
Incorporator 1S83, Richmond, Va. 

Director 1888, Charlottesville, Va. 

colored people take care of themselves they will not die any 
faster than any other people. White organizations have dis- 
criminated against colored people because, they claim, colored 
people die faster than white people. The only instances 
where this is true are where they do not live under the same 
conditions as the whites. Where the whites are subjected to 
the same privations and surroundings as colored people, there 
is no perceptible difference in the death rate. It would be a 


beneficial thing to have lectures from time to time on the 
laws of health. 

Some time in March or early in April, the town of Clarks- 
ville, Va., was visited by a very destructive fire, which de- 
stroyed the greater part of the town. As a consequence of 
that calamity, many True Reformers suffered, and, in com- 
mon with others, lost their houses and all of their personal 
property. The Grand Master issued an appeal to the Order 
to aid, by voluntary contributions, the unfortunate brothers 
and sisters in their afflictions. To this appeal there was a 
generous response to the extent of five hundred and six dol- 
lars and fifty-six cents. 

After the distribution thereof there came in an additional 
seventy-six dollars and forty-four cents. Of this amount 
fifty dollars was donated to the Lynchburg Seminary in the 
interest of education, and the balance, twenty-six dollars 
and forty-four cents, was donated for the purchase of land 
for an "Old Folk's Home." 

On account of increased duties and responsibilities of the 
Grand Worthy Secretary and Chief of the Correspondence 
department, his salary was raised to one hundred dollars per 

For faithful service and eminent success, the following 
named persons were the recipients of presents from their 
grateful admirers: 

Rev. W. L. Taylor, Grand Worthy Vice-Master, was given 
a gold watch; Mr. J. C. Asbury, in presenting it, said, "We 
have subscribed for one thousand shares of stock, put one 
thousand members in the Order, and most of this has been 
done through the zeal of Rev. W. L. Taylor." Sister P. L. 
Winston was presented a breastpin by Rising Mt. Zion Foun- 
tain, Phoebus, Va. ; Brother Davy Jones received a gold pin; 
Mrs. Rosa Thompson a fine pin emblem of the Order by 
Rose Fountain; Brother G. W. Nobles a fifty dollar suit of 
clothes, and Mrs. Gilliam a beautiful pin. 


The following laws were made this year: 

(a) That each member of the Rosebud Fountain be allowed, 
through his parent or guardian, to purchase five shares of 
Bank stock. 

(b) The uniform hack and replenishing system. 

(c) The uniform burial system. 

(d) That all money of the Mutual treasuries, as collected, 
be deposited monthly by the banking committee ; and also all 
the money of the Sick treasuries, except enough to defray the 
expense of the Fountain from financial meeting to financial 

(e) Union Degree Chambers were instituted. 

(f) That no Past Officer be allowed to come as a delegate 
to the Grand Fountain who fails to enroll his name and at- 
tend the meeting of the "Past Officers' Council," when there 
is one in his vicinity. 

(g) In places where there are two or more Fountains, a 
Degree Chamber is to be organized; the officers of the same 
to be the Degree Masters and Mistresses of the several Foun- 

(h) The semi-annual taxes were increased from fifteen 
cents to forty cents. 

(i) Each delegate representing a Fountain was made a 
Special Deputy. 

The narrative of this year is told. But statistics can convey 
but poor conception of the good accomplished. Figures are 
too cold and facts too bald. The tears dried, the sobs hushed, 
the heart-aches assuaged, the creature comforts provided — 
brought to bereaved families ; the sympathetic visits, the min- 
istration and financial assistance brought to sick rooms; the 
cups of cold water "given in the name of a disciple," cannot 
be set down on pages. They can only be fully appreciated by 
God, who records them all in more legible characters than 
can be done in man's poor language. 

Some bright sayings by some of the speakers of the thir- 
teenth annual session of the Grand Fountain: 



















The Grand Worthy Master : "The reason why Satan keeps 
ahead of us 9 he is so fast. When he gets on the train, get on 
there with him, and when he gets up before day in the morn- 
ing, get up with him. Put wickedness in a telephone and 
righteousness in an ox-wagon, and ask me why the world is 
growing worse. We must use for righteousness anything that 
will keep up with evil." 

Rev. E. T. Anderson: "I have circumnavigated the globe, 
and have found nothing that I thought would elevate our 
people for whom I have been speaking. I met a man in Pitts- 
burg and he spoke of our Bank down in Richmond. I ex- 
pected to find a Bank, a small one, in which I could touch 
the ceiling. Brother Wells introduced me to a little black 
man. I could not leave Richmond until I had joined Class B 
and Fountain No. 99. I returned this week and joined E 
Class and bought ten shares of stock. I have gotten up a 
Fountain of good people at Pocahontas, Va." 

C. C. Summerville: "When we think of the chains and 
shackles of the past, and the obstacles of the present, we know 
that God intended that the birth of the True Reformers 
should be the birth of freedom to the Negroes." 

A. J. Brown : "I have been identified with an organization 
that is fifty years old, and it has not a brick of its own. Here 
we have a grand edifice, paid for from ground to ceiling. 
I am here, not for benefits, but for the good I may do. I 
don't know of any organization that is doing so well." 

A. W. Truehart: "I find the True Reformers is the best 
Organization ever heard or read of. I was secretary of a 
Fountain for three years; declined the last election, because 
they told me I could not get my past honors as long as I re- 
mained secretary. Brother Taylor told me to go to work, 
get up a Fountain, and I would receive my past honors for 
meritorious services. I went to work, got up a Fountain, and 
am here to-night representing that Fountain." 

Brother Coles, of Baltimore, Md. : "When I look over this 
audience I feel that I am looking at a peculiar people. Pecu- 


liar, because I see representatives of nearly twenty-five thou- 
sand people. If the leaders are wrong, their teachings are 
wrong, and the people are wrong. But if the leaders are right, 
what a power!" 

Rev. J. Anderson Taylor: "There is no one here who has 
more in the True Reformers than I. I am now paying on 
nine True Reformers in my house." 

Rev. W. H. Heard, Wilmington, Del. : "I came from the 
same State in which W. W. Browne was born, and he was 
born in the poorest county in Georgia — Habersham. Every- 
body in a political organization wants an office, and in literary 
societies the same; therefore there were all heads and no fol- 
lowers; but it seems here that W. W. Browne's head was so 
much longer than the others fellows' heads together, that 
they did not want his place. I have sometimes myself doubted, 
the Negro's ability to grapple with the great economic and 
financial questions, but I no longer doubt." 

J. H. Smythe : "Notwithstanding the magnificent achieve- 
ment of the Order during the thirteen years last past and the 
great prospect of advancement before the Order in the fu- 
ture, I regard the accomplishment of union of sentiment and 
effort represented in the Brotherhood as a greater achieve- 
ment than the acquisition of a hundred thousand dollars 
worth of real property and the payment of three hundred 
thousand dollars' worth of sick and death benefits. I regard 
the confidence of the membership in the founder of the Order, 
Rev. Win. W. Browne, and in themselves, as a moral gain 
second to no other accomplishment of the Race in the thirty 
years of freedom." 

Mr. M. E. Gerst: "There are certain great focal points of 
history towards which the lines of past progress have con- 
verged, and from which have radiated the influences of the 
future. Such was the German reformation of the sixteenth 
century, and such are the closing years of this, the nineteenth 
century. Many are not aware that we are living in extra- 
ordinary times. Look ! Just thirteen years ago this Grand 

Dr. A. W. G. FARRAR. 
Medical Director 1898, Richmond, Va 


Fountain met up here on Charity street in an Orphan Asylum 
— an inmate of an Orphan Asylum — with about one hundred 
and fifty dollars in, perhaps, a shot-bag. But to-night it is 
shown that we have a Bank, with assets of three hundred and 
twenty thousand four hundred and eighty-seven dollars and 
fifty-nine cents, and real property which, if placed at a fair 
valuation, would exceed seventy-six thousand dollars. We 
can realize the truth of these lines: 

" 'We are living, we are dwelling, 
In a grand and awful time; 
In an age on ages telling 
To be living is sublime.' 

"I wonder sometimes why some of the men of this country 
who want so much to be called great did not think of this 
plan of doing business. Here we have the Fountain, the 
Rosebud, the Classes, and Business department, with Life 
Membership and Loan features, with their direct advantages, 
as well as death benefits." 

J. C. Asbury : "We have put up twenty-two Fountains and 
six Rosebuds since last December. We told some whom we 
tried to induce to join us we would give more money than 
any organization in existence. They did not believe us. We 
told them that the best evidence we could give was that for 
thirteen years we had been doing it. Not a single man in the 
United States could say that the True Reformers owed him 
a penny for endowment. Some said that all property is 
deeded in Browne's name, and when he dies it goes to Browne's 
heirs, and the True Reformers will have nothing. I said to 
them, 'On the Board of Directors I see such names as Dr. 
Dismond, Rev. R. Wells, Rev. Hunter and others among the 
brainiest men of our race. If these brainy men are fools 
enough to sit on the Board and let this be done, I am fool 
enough to follow.' " 

Rev. W. L. Taylor (who was presented a watch) : "I can- 
not express the gratitude that I feel at this surprise. I ha v e 


been so very strict in enforcing the law that I did not think 
I had made many friends. Some had said, 'Brother Taylor, 
you will make enemies by being so strict.' 'I can't' help it,' I 
said, 'I must do my duty.' If by doing my duty I have 
merited this watch, I thank God." 

The Grand Worthy Master (introducing Miss Mattie 
Bowen, of Washington, D. C, to the Rosebuds) : "Many of 
you are school children; you understand geography better 
than some of us ; therefore, it is a pleasure for me to tell you 
that these delegates come from Xew York, Pennsylvania, New 
Jerse}^, Delaware, Massachusetts, and many other States. In 
all these States I have named they have little Rosebuds. The 
delegates are here to report their Rosebuds. James river is 
formed by little streams coming out and meeting the 
branches; these creeks meet and then we have the James 
river. So with these representatives. Here comes a repre- 
sentative from this way, another from that way, and we are 
all here in the Grand Fountain." 

Miss Bowen said : "Grand Worthy Master, officers and 
members of the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Re- 
formers, I feel, oh, such a pleasure to stand here and look 
upon these little ones. I have looked upon the larger ones 
with a thrill of pleasure, but you cannot appreciate, unless 
you love children, my feelings at this moment. I wish you 
to draw upon your imagination as we enter a beautiful garden 
filled with flowers, great in variety, great in number. In the 
center of the garden these attract our attention: a beautiful 
rose, a hardy plant, planted at the base of a pedestal ; on this 
pedestal are three women, one with an anchor, one with a 
cross, and one with a heart; they represent three graces — 
Faith, Hope and Charity. The dew and rain nourish these 
branches, and they spread up and on and around these images, 
and you can only see the images through the vines. This is 
a beautiful white rose. The gardener attends it; it spreads; 
it grows from slips. The gardener sends slips here and there, 
and we have roses all around. Those of you who have 



Pastor Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and personal friend of W. W. Browne, 

Richmond, Va. 


studied geography know that roses do not grow nicely in 
New England, where there is a rocky, sterile soil. It is easier 
to grow them in the West and South. You can see by this 
object lesson — for this is what we teach by — at what I am 
driving. The Grand Fountain, of which you are the roses, is 
that vine. Deeper into the soil she sends her roots when the 
storms and frost come. When summer comes she sends forth 
her blooms and buds. Eight here in your soil this vine was 
planted; when slipping time came it was transferred to other 
soils and to sub-gardeners, and they watched it, cared for it, 
until it became a hardy plant. You are the buds ; around you 
are the blooms and half-blown roses. If you were going to 
make a present of roses, you would send buds, as the full- 
blown roses would fall to pieces. We see here gray hairs and 
tottering steps. A strong blast will come and they will go, 
but leave a sweet perfume behind them in their works. 

"Here are the buds. I am surprised to see more girls than 
boys. I said in Washington, women must save the men. I 
think I hold my point. Women must save the Race. Mr. 
Smythe said last night to the women : 'When you come back, 
bring another woman,' but to the men he said, 'Bring back 
another member' — I suppose he meant another woman. 

"Our men have not enough stick; the majority of them are 
so weak, so timid, that they cannot defend their wives and 
sisters, if insulted. Boys, you are not to be like them; but 
you are to be hardy, perpetual bloomers, come to stay. A 
wild rose is pretty, but puff at it and it is gone. 

"You want to be like the Grand Worthy Master. I listened 
to him at Anacostia under the trees; the birds sang and the 
breezes played through the boughs. I watched him and said 
to myself, 'That's a man.' A gentleman is one thing and a 
man is another thing. I like to see a man say what he thinks 
in defence of his friends and in defence of his home. Step 
up; be ready to back it up with your fist, if necessary. I 
don't believe in brawls, but when the Race is assailed, stand up 
or step back and let a man take your place. I was glad to 


see your bright eyes and see you step in, shoulders back and 
heads up. I did not have to ask for your attention, because 
I had it; because something was being said and because some- 
thing is in you. Come into the Fountains as you have in 
the Eosebuds and take our places. The Worthy Mistress' 
place needs some little girl; the Worthy Governess 5 place 
needs some little girl, and while they are here they are good 
examples for your imitation. A lost traveler sees a light in a 
distance, keeps his eyes upon it, and makes for it. Out of the 
woods he goes, and out of danger. Here is your mother and 
here is your Governess; follow and keep out of difficulty. 

"To fill these high offices, certain qualifications are neces- 
sary. We have a jolly, joyful disposition, and the white peo- 
ple say that we are funny and forgiving; but don't be too 
funny ; cut off a little of the levity. Some of us in the streets, 
when we see anything that is laughable, throw our hands up. 
make loud noises, side up against the house. The white pass 
and see us, and remark, 'Just like colored people.' Little 
girls, don't let this be said of you. I defy any one to say that 
any white woman is better than Mat-tie Bowen. A child is 
naturally light-hearted, full of joy; but let us be solemn. 
Be true to yourselves. Some of the speakers said last night 
that they liked the association because it took in the women. 
I like it, too, because I am a woman and I can get in ; but one 
of the speakers said that women can't keep secrets. I wonder 
if he can prove it. In your department, you learn the pri- 
mary steps or rudiments of business ;- you have your little 
officers and printed matter; by performing the duties of the 
first and reading the latter, your minds become strengthened 
and you are prepared for higher duties. They say that the 
white man shuts us out ; colored men, have your own business, 
attend to your own business, and no man can shut you out. 
Roll up your sleeves, go to work and make business for your- 
selves. Take your pick, powder and fuse and go into the 
mountains and find the gold. If colored men have stores, 
what do you want with the white man's store ? I was in the 

4th and N Streets, Washington, D. C. 


Providence High School, and I allowed no white woman to 
be called my superior. When the time of graduation came, 
Mattie Bowen, the only Negro girl in the class, stepped forth 
at the head of her class; she had to represent her people. 
Boys and girls, be boys and girls upon whom no one can put 
their hands. Be the hardy, perpetual, white, climbing rose. 
George Washington planted a rose bush many years ago and 
named it the Mary Washington. Florists are selling that 
variety to-day. You see the results of thirteen years of labor; 
if this has been accomplished in thirteen years, what will be 
accomplished when these buds become full-blown roses? 

"Almost on the verge of the grand session, God called one 
of the great True Reformers away, and he to-day looks down 
and bids us godspeed — Samuel Taylor. 

"Mothers and fathers, let this meeting give you inspiration ; 
put your child in the Rosebuds ; make up your minds to sup- 
port our societies. These white insurance agents come to your 
homes with their hats on, treat you with no respect, and want 
you to enter their societies. Don't let the insurance tads fool 
you. They play with your children on the inside and walk 
over you on the outside. When they come to your homes, 
swing the door open and show them the street, and if they do 
not get out quickly, why, help them. 

"Remember that I said to you in the beginning that in the 
center of that garden there was a beautiful, perpetual rose 
bush, planted at the bottom of the pedestal on which rested 
the images, Faith, Hope and Charity. The sun will shine, 
rain will fall, and these, with the earth to nourish, will grow. 
Try to bring others into your Rosebud, and in coming years 
who can tell the result ? 

"Think of the Bank. Look here — a grand sight to see — 
Jesse Smith, a colored boy, is acting as page. There is not a 
black face in Congress; there is also not a white face here." 

The Grand Worthy Master said, in answer to her, "When 
it comes to building churches, then the women are ahead; 
societies, then the women are ahead; when it comes to shoot- 


ing crap, then the boys are ahead; bar-rooms, the boys are 
ahead; gambling, boys ahead; club houses, cigarettes, dudes, 
boys are ahead. I am getting jealous; we want the men, and 
I am not going to stop until we get them. We want the boys 
from the gambling dens; help us, girls." 

R. H. Harris: "I am going back home to work with all 
my soul, with all my mind. Xorth Carolina has not been 
awakened to our work. Xow you have my heart, hands and 
means. I am with you. I thought that God would let me 
be the Moses, but the Moses is in Richmond. I am satisfied 
to follow." 

The Grand Worthy Master: "We find throughout all 
large cities and towns a large and increasing number of our 
old people who are too old and too feeble to be admitted into 
membership of benevolent or beneficial societies. If they 
were allowed membership, there are few societies that are 
able to support them. We are often pained to see them on 
the dumps and cinder piles, trying to get something to sustain 
life, to cook the poor meal, and in cold weather to protect 
themselves from the weather. They have no other capital 
than their labor, and they are. as a rule, so old and feeble that 
nobody wants their labor. The great success we are making 
in life is greatly due to their efforts with God in our behalf. 
Therefore it becomes our duty, the sons and daughters of these 
old people, to do something for them to make their last days 
somewhat easy and comfortable and contented, if not happy. 
If in no other way, to provide a place where they may live 
and for the remainder of their lives enjoy shelter, food and 
raiment at the hands of sons and daughters. 'Inasmuch as 
you have done it to the least of my little ones, you have done 
it unto me.' 'Blessed are ye who consider the poor; the Lord 
will deliver them in time of trouble.' " 

Key. "W. F. GEAHAM, D. D. 
Deputy and Enthusiastic Eefcrmer, Eichmoncl, Va. 



One of the unique features of the True Reformers at this 
time (from September 5, 1893, to September 4, 1894) was its 
corporate control of real estate situated in different localities. 
Certainly it was unique as to the Negro fraternal associations, 
if not as to the Negro Race of America. 

The Organization was composed at this period of citizens 
of twenty different States, buying and controlling property 
wherever most advantageous to the Order, which property 
was used by the Subordinate Fountains for lodge purposes 
and for such other purposes as the Grand Fountain might 
deem proper, being vested in the Grand Fountain, which 
meets annually, whose officers are elected annually. And 
each member, through his representatives to the Grand Foun- 
tain, has a voice in the management of the realty. 

The lesson has been learned by other societies, but it must 
be remembered that the True Reformers were pioneers in 
this feature. And while we are speaking of unique features 
and pioneers, it will not be out of place to claim the credit for 
another, a more important feature; and one which is more 
generally copied than that of corporate ownership of real 

Indeed, it is so general now that young people would think 
that it has always been true, and the older ones are apt to 
overlook the fact that it was not always thus. As a matter of 
fact, it was this feature which gave the True Reformers the 
impetus that has caused the Order to outstrip all others, 
which feature all other fraternal societies had to copy or 
else go to the wall. It is a fact easy to verify that Negro fra- 
ternal societies only "took care of the sick and buried the 
dead," but the True Reformers did this and paid the heirs an 
endowment after death. The Grand Fountain was the first 


to successfully offer this benefit, and it is well to remind the 
reader of this fact, "Lest we forget." 

It may be thought that because the success of the Order 
has been so phenomenal it has been all easy sailing. But no 
improvement, nor even the regular routine business, was 
effected without effort, and sometimes trouble from unlooked- 
for sources confronted the officials. One instance is better 
told in the words of the Grand Worthy Master: 

"This has been a great year, a terrible year also. We will 
find that we have made wonderful progress. But men this 
year have plotted for our lives, and we have mastered every 
plot that has been laid. The first was among our own ranks. 
I found that some of the Deputies were putting up new 
Fountains and Rosebuds, and that they were putting in any- 
body — the aged, infirm, decrepit, and anything else. I then 
got up the Deputy report sheet, and demanded that every 
Deputy, before putting up a Fountain, report to me; that I 
must know the name, age, and amount of each person put in. 
I found also that some workers were keeping these people in 
convention on purpose, and using the money. I issued Cir- 
cular No. 2. and sent it forward. It demanded that after the 
meeting of every convention every dollar be forwarded to the 
Bank. Well, before I did that, I lost four or five conventions, 
with from fifty to one hundred dollars each, and since I 
issued Circular Xo. 2 three conventions burst up. I told them 
that if they did not obey, I did not want them. I was not 
going to work and allow men to run off with the game and 
True Reformers bear the blame. The circular worked like 
a charm. I had to employ more clerks in the Bank. I could 
not help it; I had to save the Order at all hazards. Well, 
that was settled." 

There was but one Fountain east of New York city up to 
October, 1893, but at the end of the year there were twenty 
Fountains east of Xew York— in Boston, Worcester, Spring- 
field, Providence, Hartford and Norwich. 

Another fact worthy of record is that stenographic reports 



of proceedings and speeches were introduced in the True Re- 
formers, Mr. George S. Dabney and Mr. Roger J. Kyles being 
the first official stenographers. 

The only suit filed against the Order was that of the "heirs- 
at-law of Edmond Baugh." The policy had been assigned 


General Business Clerk. Richmond, Va. 

to his cousin, to whom it was paid. His adult daughter 
brought suit. After a full hearing of the cause, the decision 
was given in favor of the Grand Fountain, the court estab- 
lishing the right of assignment of policies by those who con- 
tract by membership with the Grand Fountain. 


Banks are the life blood of trade and progress whenever 
they may be established, and among whatever people ; whether 
they be the favored Anglo-Saxon, the often persecuted Amer- 
ican Indian, or the despised Negro — they bless all the same. 

Since the establishing of the Savings Bank (five and a half 
years since) , the Grand Fountain owns fifteen buildings, vary- 
ing in value from one thousand to twenty-five thousand 

The work of the Bank this year was enormous, necessitat- 
ing the employment of five on its clerical force. 

The total receipts were two hundred and six thousand five 
hundred and fifty-seven dollars and fifteen cents, and the dis- 
bursements one hundred and ninety thousand six hundred 
and sixty-three dollars and five cents. Total business trans- 
acted, three hundred and ninety-seven thousand two hundred 
and twenty dollars and twenty cents; balance at close of year, 
twenty-four thousand nine hundred and seventy-six dollars 
and ninety-two cents. Amount of cash handled to date, one 
million two hundred and eighteen thousand nine hundred 
and ninety-three dollars and thirty-two cents. Total balance 
from the Grand Worthy Secretary's department and Bank, 
twenty-two thousand four hundred and sixty-seven dollars 
and eleven cents. Dividend paid amounted to two thousand 
three hundred and eight dollars. 


There were organized one hundred Senior Fountains, an 
increase of seven over last year; total, six hundred and sev- 
enty-six; benefited persons, fourteen thousand seven hundred 
and forty-five. Some of this work was built under the most 
unfavorable circumstances, and in the face of opposition from 
within and without. 

There were twenty-two new Kosebud Fountains organized. 
This, one of the most important departments of the Order, 
should receive the support of every member. If the child be 
trained right, there will certainly be no trouble with the 


adults. In the Rosebud the children are taught business and 
how to live together in peace; to look out for the interest of 
others, and to bear each other's burdens in the time of distress. 
The total membership in all departments, twenty-three thou- 
sand. While the growth was great, the deaths were in pro- 
portion to the growth. (Among those fallen was G. W. 
Nobles, who had worked for the Order steadily for years.) 

There were two hundred and seven claims paid on account 
of deaths in the Senior Fountains, amounting to twenty-three 
thousand five hundred and eighty-six dollars and seventy- 
three cents, which was sixteen cents less than for the pre- 
ceding year. 

Class endowments paid, eight thousand nine hundred and 
eighteen dollars. 

The Grand Fountain employed on monthly salary fifty 
persons, the pay-roll being one thousand and ninety-two dol- 
lars and twenty-five cents. 

The collections were eleven thousand dollars in excess of 
the preceding year, despite the financial stagnation all over 
the country. The number of shares of stock sold was sixteen 
hundred and eighty-nine. 

The following properties were purchased: The house and 
lot at the corner of Sixth and Baker streets, Richmond, Va.; 
lot of more than an acre in Ashland, Va.; lot on Prince street, 
Alexandria, Va.; lot on Glasgow street, Portsmouth, Va. ; 
lot on Oak street, Petersburg, Va. The total list of proper- 
ties owned by the Grand Fountain comprises fifteen pieces 
in fourteen different localities, the total value of which is 
ninety-three thousand six hundred dollars. 

Receipts from real estate, eighteen thousand six hundred 
and thirty-six dollars and eighty-two cents; disbursements, 
twenty-seven thousand seven hundred and six dollars and 
thirty-nine cents. . 




(a) One hundred and fifty dollars was appropriated for a 
law library. 

(b) The hack fee was limited to thirteen dollars at the 
death of each member. 

(c) The boarding-house and training school for Deputies, 


Chief and Director, Hampton, Va. 

under the direction of the Grand Worthy Master, was estab- 
lished by the Order, at the house corner of Sixth and Baker 


streets, Richmond, Va. (This place was later known as 
"Hotel Reformer.") 

(d) It was decided that females be appointed as secre- 
taries and canvassers of divisions. 

(e) It was determined that all persons holding offices of 
trust must buy no less than ten shares of stock. 

It may with propriety be said that this was a year of great 
happenings. Fourteen years ago the Organization was com- 
posed of one branch, four Fountains, one hundred members 
and one hundred and fifty dollars. This year closed with 
seven organizations in one, namely, the Fountain, Classes, 
Rosebud, Savings Bank, Real Estate, Regalia, and Reformer — 
all self-supporting except the Reformer, and that was grow- 
ing. The Old Folk's Homes were still promises, but very 
hopeful ones. By far the most important and far-reaching 
statement of the year is the following by the Grand Worthy 
Master : 

"For the better protection of the Grand Fountain and all 
concerned, I recommend that the Grand Fountain purchase 
from Wm. W. Browne, the founder and builder of the Grand 
Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, the "Plans" of 
each department of the above named Order, in fee simple, 
except the Regalia department, which it has already pur- 


"There is always some one throwing into the members' 
faces that 'the Order belongs to Browne, the property be- 
longs to Browne, and Browne is elected for life, and at his 
death his family will inherit all the property of this institu- 
tion;' and a false impossibility of that kind debars a great 
many people from joining the Organization, and their preju- 
dices poison the minds of other people against it. 


"The only favor granted me above any other servant of 
the Grand Fountain was the election during good behavior 


at the Petersburg session, September, 1887. It was said by 
the enemies of the movement that the Organization was dead ; 
that the whole progress would stop. At that session we 
adopted merit as the cause for promotion to office. 

"At that session we numbered one hundred and twenty-two 
Subordinate Fountains. We had just put the Rosebud Foun- 
tains and the Class department on foot. We appointed the 
committee to plan the scheme of the Bank, with your humble 
servant as chairman. We had just purchased the first lot 
upon which is the building at Richmond, and made a pay- 
ment of one thousand dollars. The number of deaths up to 
that session was twentj^-six ; your total collections, all told, 
six thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight dollars and 
eighty-nine cents. Your balance was one hundred and sev- 
enty-two dollars and seventy-nine cents. Number of Foun- 
tains at this session, six hundred and seventy, or more than 
fifteen thousand benefited members, with a membership in 
all departments of twenty-three thousand, if not quite twenty- 
five thousand; with receipts of the General Office, in all de- 
partments, of over seventy-five thousand dollars per annum; 
with a Bank that has handled more than a million dollars 
in five years; with Real Estate department owning in fee 
simple eighty thousand dollars' worth of property, with an 
annual income of more than twelve thousand dollars; with a 
Regalia department, whose profits are more than a thousand 
dollars clear of expenses, and a monthly newspaper, second 
to none of its kind in this country. We have paid more than 
one thousand two hundred death claims, amounting to more 
than one hundred and sixty thousand dollars in clear cash. 

"For example, when the Regalia department was in my 
hands, there was a great deal of grumbling every year, but 
since it has gone into the hands of the Grand Fountain, I hear 
no more growling and grumbling. 

"I have never asked for anything until now for myself 
individually. What I ask now is, you buy the plans from me, 
at a reasonable price, so that when I become old and infirm, 



I may have a sufficient amount out of my labor and the fruit 
of my brain and skill, to keep me above want and relieve you, 
the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers, 
from the shadow of heirs inheriting any portion of this gift 
and labor that I have given to my poor, despised and down- 
trodden Eace, through the instrument that I have created and 
built by and through the mercies of Almighty God, known 
as the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers. 


"The next man that follows me will not have to create and 
build the position, but will find the instrument created and the 

sixth and Baker streets. Richmond, Va. 

position built. Therefore, you will not have to do this for 
any other man that is with me or that may follow me. 


"Should you comply with my request, I shall not stop work 
and sit down or lose interest in the work. But it shall be an 
encouragement for me to do more. When you made me your 
favored servant, n great many said thai I would lose interest 
and would become indifferent. People change; and some- 
times they reward the wrong man. 


"For this cause, I am prompted by the spirit of righteous- 
ness and fair-dealing to call your attention to this matter now 
in the days of your prosperity, as I came to you in your ad- 
versity, when you were neither able to help yourself nor me." 



Mr. Batts, of Petersburg: "I remember once, when I was 
in Danville, I went out to buy some lots, and before purchas- 
ing them I was known as 'old David Batts,' and soon after 
that I saw in one of the daily papers that c Mr. Batts had 
bought some lots over here.' I had a check the other day on 
the True Reformers' Bank. I got this nice new coat with 
that check, and when I gave it to the merchant, he said that 
he wished that he had a thousand." 

Mr. Nelson Proctor: "I see before me the material out of 
which, if the Race expects to accomplish anything, it must be 
done through them. I want to speak of the helping hand that 
is given to our twenty-one States by the True Reformers. I 
know that the pennies put in the Order help them. This is a 
feature that I am proud of. To-day my thirty-five cents 
bounces all over the country, and it helps and cheers those 
whom I will never see. I know of many organizations. The 
hands of the Anglo-Saxon got on them before we did, but this 
Organization they never touched. We ought to be proud of 
it, because it is an Organization of ourselves." 

Mr. J. C. Asbury: "I am proud of this building; I am 
proud to see all the buildings. These are not our greatest 
monuments. Our greatest monuments are the hearts and 
minds of men and women before us. Our greatest monu- 
ments will be handed down from tongue to tongue, from 
mother to daughter, from age to age. The building may 
crumble in the dust; others may be erected; but the name and 
fame, the tears that have been wiped out, the hearts that have 
been consoled, the widows that have been protected, the boys 
and girls who have learned honesty, are the monuments of 


this great work. Look at the boys who have learned short- 
hand; look at the bank clerks who handle our moneys and 
pay our bills. How many have been knocking in vain at 
white institutions?" 

Rev. R. I. Gaines: "I am glad to see this noble body hold- 
ing up the arms of its leader. I feel for the leader in his 
undertakings. Push him up ; do everything to encourage him ; 
and if you can help him no more, say, Go ahead. I am one 
that will stand up." 

Rev. Granville Hunt, of New York city: "I am glad to be 
here. I feel like Peter and John, who said to the Master, 'It 
is good for us to be here.' I am glad of this work, because 
it is of the people, for the people, and by the people. We 
are engaged in a work that will solve the problem of the 
Negro quicker than anything else in the world. We must club 
these three fields together — the field of medicine, the field of 
the ministry, and the True Reformers. God is first, my 
church next, and the True Reformers next. The Masons and 
Odd-Fellows, though A^ery old organizations, are not worth 
the True Reformers. They subscribe to the sick and bury the 
dead, but what we want is something to help the living." 

Mr. Scott Wood: "The time has come for the Negro to 
speak out ; if a man lies, tell him that he lies, because all over 
this city, all over this State, the poor black man is enriching 
white insurance companies. Some white agents are going into 
the homes of our wives and daughters and insulting them, 
collecting money, from which they are receiving support, 
when that money should be supporting some of our own sons 
and daughters. The time has come for us to follow our Na- 
poleon of finance." 

Mrs. M. J. Williams: "Without any disparagement to 
other societies and orders that still prevail among our people. 
we think that we are safe in saying that the Grand Fountain, 
United Order of True Reformers, occupies a place and fulfils 
a mission as does no other Negro organization. What other 
Negro organization can make so splendid an exhibit in the 



short space of fourteen years? The Grand Fountain is a 
glorious reality, and voices more eloquently than I can the 
praise of the founder." 

"Our Grand Worthy Secretary, Mr. W. P. Burrell, who from 
first to last has stood and lo3^ally supported his chief, and 
Cashier, Mr. R. T. Hill, have also stamped their genius upon 
the institution." 

Mr. E. T. Anderson : "Now. sir, in regard to your "plans" 

Westham, Va. 

being bought by the Grand Fountain, I think if we fail to 
do so we will make a great mistake. I spoke to a friend of 
mine about joining the Order, and he said to me, 'Browne 
owns everything in the True Reformers.' I say buy those 
plans, and instead of having an increase of one hundred 
Fountains in a year, we will have two hundred." 

Mrs. Virginia West: "I feel proud that I am a member of 


the United Order of True Reformers. In other organizations 
in this country man is regarded as a monarch, and permits 
women to come in only as a convenience. But in this case 
she comes in side by side." 

Mr. Edward Ellis, Jr.: "We have had our eloquent, our 
learned, our financiers, and other great men of the Negro 
race, but never, never before have we seen or heard or read 
of such a God-sent blessing as a financier, a planner, organi- 
zer, economizer, as we have in the person of Wm. W. Browne. 
It is our duty to unite with our illustrious leader and econo- 

Eev. I. L. Thomas: "We need not to wait until a man 
dies to show our appreciation, who has done so much for the 
elevation of our people. I love the Sage of Anacostia. I 
love the man who was recently sent from the State of Vir- 
ginia to Congress; I love every Negro that has done some- 
thing towards the elevation of my people ; but were I to write 
a history of the Negro Race, with the biographies of the great 
Negroes before me, I could not but give the first place of the 
stroke of my pen to the memory and usefulness of Wm. W. 
Browne. We shall know him better through the workings of 
this Order." 

Mr. W. P. Burrell, chairman of the "Black Horse" com- 
mittee, in presenting the check for one thousand dollars to 
W. W. Browne, said: "The gift that we are about to present 
to you is a gift of love. "We want to show our appreciation 
while you are living. We believe if you have done well, it 
is our duty to say to you, 'You have clone well.' The check 
which I hold in my hand is for one thousand dollars, and 
the Bank which you established will honor it. When the 
question was asked by King Solomon Fountain whether you 
should walk or ride, we answered, 'Hide.' You have been 
walking long enough." 

Eev. William W. Browne answered : "Ladies and gentle- 
men of the committee, through you and the presenters of this 
check, and to your chairman, and to the donors of this, allow 


me to say to you, as you have selected this committee in behalf 
of the Grand Fountain and King Solomon Fountain, and all 
the other Fountains, Eosebuds and Classes, and other branches 
'of this institution connected with the Grand Fountain, allow 
me to thank them. Had I been dead and you erected a shaft 
to my memory, I could not have thanked you. I thank God 
to know that I have been able to receive it at your hands, Mr. 
Chairman. When you (W. P. Burrell) came to me a boy, I 
loved you. I had no children of my own. I was fond of 
boys, and I saw something in your face that I love in boys — 
that is, honest ways. If you did wrong, you saw it, and if 
anything was committed to your care, while a boy, you stood 
by it like a man. Seeing the dimes that were in you, I 
thought that I would take you with me and carry you as far 
as I could, and when the time shall come when I shall depart 
this life, your age and experience will be to others what I was 
to you in your young days. When I shall get in this chariot 
and drive these horses, I shall recognize them as True Re- 
formers' horses, True Reformers' chariot, and True Reformers' 

S. W. Rutherford : "You are representatives of an institu- 
tion of which any people might justly feel proud. The pres- 
ent year has been somewhat a marked one in the history of 
our country. The spirit of anarchy has become very rife in 
the land, but be it ever said to the credit of the Negro, he was 
at work making an honest dollar." 

Mr. John H. Smythe: "The report of the Auditor shows 
that Negroes own seven hundred and sixty- three thousand 
eight hundred and sixty-seven acres of land in this State. 
Negroes have acquired legal title to more than one-nineteenth 
of the acreage of fifty-three counties. They own more than 
one-eleventh of all real estate in the incorporate towns. As- 
sociations, to be effective, must take the form of combination. 
That is to say, two must be as one, one hundred as one, twenty- 
five thousand as one. Unity in thought, unity in speech, unity 
in action; less than this would not be a combination. The 
Grand Fountain, the youngest and strongest in the essentials 



of strength of all associative effort among the Race, stands 
the unique, peerless, unrivalled object lesson of what compe- 
tition through co-operation and combination has done in the 
aid of the moral and material growth of our Race." 

The Grand Worthy Master: "The five things I want to 
talk to you about, and the only things you live for, are food, 
first ; after food, raiment, because you cannot go in this world 
naked; if you do, you will freeze to death; the next thing is 
shelter; it matters not how many clothes you have on, you 
would better not let the rain, hail and snow fall on you; if 

Matron and Clerk Old Folk's Homes, Rio Vista, Va. 

you have not got a home, you will have to borrow one; you 
will have to pay the price the man asks for it; if you do not, 
you will not get it. The next thing is the soul, and the next 
thing is intellect. If you get food, the intellect must direct 
it for you ; if you get shelter, 3 T our intellect must direct it 
for you; get raiment, your intellect must direct it. If your 
soul is saved, you must save it by your intellect. If you 
neglect whiskey you will not die. You can neglect a fight; 
you may neglect your frolics, and you will not die. You may 
neglect gaudy appearance, and you will not die. I want to 
show you a few things. You cannot neglect food, raiment, 
shelter, soul and intellect and not die." 



September, 1894, to September, 1895, was a period which 
marked some advances in the condition of the Race that would 
be surprising to those who have passed into the Great Beyond, 
with the thought that the Negro could never be other than a 
"hewer of wood and a drawer of water." The wonderful ad- 
vantages of the Race, as indicated by the business of the True 
Reformers, would have been a revelation to them. For now 
Dabney, Kyles and Miss Davenport were efficient stenogra- 
phers, able to correctly report the doings of assemblies, the 
Order being instrumental in their development. They would 
have been surprised to see the Negro, in fifteen years, put 
into operation this great machinery of eight divisions, giving 
employment to over two hundred of our sons and daughters. 
They would be delighted to see the first Negro Bank which 
had done business in six years amounting to nearly two mil- 
lion dollars; an Insurance department paying face value of 
each policy; a Real Estate department that bought one hun- 
dred thousand dollars' worth of property; an Organization 
of seven hundred and seventy Senior Fountains; a weekly 
paper furnishing the public at large, information concerning 
this great achievement and giving inspiration to the Race at 
large and encouragement to go and do likewise. They would 
see a bright future for our Race through the True Reform- 
ers, and would prophesy concerning our final triumph. 

The Order generally was in a most prosperous condition; 
though it had passed through a period of unprecedented bat- 
tles, they were for the most part successes. 

Strenuous efforts were made to keep the Order from operat- 
ing in Massachusetts, but all to no avail; the day was won 
and Massachusetts was held. Some of the officers of the 
Fountains operating in Boston were removed and tried to 


give trouble, but seven Fountains were left in that city after 
the smoke had cleared away. 

Baltimore also produced a member who caused the Grand 
Fountain to suffer for his negligence. The Porter case was 
brought to trial, Porter bringing suit because W. W. Browne 
denounced his (Thomas W. Porter's) Old Folk's Homes 
scheme. The jury brought in a verdict for. W. W. Browne. 
The most sensational of all was the u Teamoh episode," in 
which occasion was sought to injure the Order on account of 
the opinion of one man (though that man was the Grand 
Worthy Master) on the social question in the South. But 
even in that case good sense prevailed, and honesty of pur- 
pose upon the part of W. W. Browne was endorsed. Many, 
many minor cases of dereliction and removals occupied the 
attention and time of the Grand Worthy Master. One of the 
most puzzling cases had during the year was that of a con- 
spiracy to rob the Grand Fountain, wherein a dead man was 
insured in the Organization, his endowment collected and 
appropriated by dishonest persons. Out of four hundred 
and sixty-nine dollars forwarded in the case, the heirs of the 
man receded only ten dollars, though they were not entitled 
to anything. Three persons were indicted for the crime; two 
were convicted; one given two years in the penitentiary, and 
the other five years. 

All of these cases taught valuable lessons to the officers of 
the Grand Fountain, by which the Order profited, and in a 
year of battles had a year of greater growth than in any year 
preceding it — the trowel in one hand and the sword in the 

The daily morning devotional service held by the office 
force, instituted by the Grand Worthy Master, and presided 
over by himself or his representative, gave much Consolation 
and endurance in the great battles of the year, and contributed 
no little to its success. 

The training schools prepared our Deputies for efficient 
service and helped to assure success. The one held at Rich- 



mond, Va., February 11th. to 15th, was attended by eighty- 
three Deputies and officers. 

A regular program for each day's lesson was arranged, and 
all departments of the Order studied in their order. Each 
was made to give his version of different laws of the Order, 
and to explain some part of the Ritual. This school cost the 


Chief Real Estate 1897, Assistant Cashier 1895, Richmond, Va. 

Grand Fountain five hundred and fifty-nine dollars and fifty- 
four cents, 

A school was also held at Wilmington, Del. The attend- 
ance was forty-four, and the cost three hundred and forty- 
three dollars and forty-nine cents. 

By this means every one was unconsciously prepared for 
the great battles which were to come; or else the work would 
have suffered terribly in the battles with the newspapers and 
their allies. 


To better protect the Order against grave-yard insurance, 
fraud and impositions, the Grand Worthy Master was em- 
powered to appoint inspectors, whose duty it was to see each 
candidate for membership and report the true physical con- 

Each Senior Past was constituted an officer to report all 
Fountains which failed to deposit their moneys as directed 
by the Constitution and Circular No. 2. The Grand Foun- 
tain was operating in fourteen States — Connecticut, Delaware, 
Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Maryland, North Carolina, 
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, 
Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia; but 
nearly two-thirds of the Fountain membership and more than 
two-thirds of the Rosebud membership was in Virginia. 

Like charity, the True Reformers started at home ; and, like 
charity, it was beginning to spread abroad and widen the 
scope of its influence. The prophecy of its covering the whole 
land with the "cloak of charity" bids fair to become a glorious 
reality, for even during this year there were one hundred new 
Senior Fountains organized and over four thousand members 
added, and when the additions to the Rosebuds and Classes 
were included, the total increase in members was nearly eight 

Such was the increase that E Class began to pay face value 
on its policy of five hundred dollars, B Class having reached 
face value the year before (1894). 

Every one of the seven departments became self-sustaining. 
The Regalia department had a surplus over expenses of one 
thousand nine hundred and sixty dollars. The Real Estate 
department owned one hundred thousand dollars' worth of 
property, with a debt of only fourteen thousand dollars; the 
income from rents, thirteen thousand three hundred and 
eighty-nine dollars and fifty cents; and from sale of stock, 
thirteen thousand and thirty-eight dollars and twenty-four 
cents; making a total income of twenty-six thousand four 
hundred and twenty-seven dollars and seventy-five cents; en- 


abling this department to pay twenty per cent, dividend from 
its own income without asking favor of any other department. 

The attention of the reader is especially arrested at this 
point, because it is worthy of note that the prophets (?) had 
said, "We shall wait and mark the future course of this 
thing"; and, "It will soon come to naught"; "the schemes are 
only air-castles, and its leader a fanatic"; but within fifteen 
years the Order had paid up its obligations and gotten pos- 
session of more than one-tenth million of dollars' worth of 
real property. These periods included years of depression 
(notably 1893), as well as those of prosperity, and were some 
of the darkest in its history, having been retarded by fears 
and suspicions of many good, though short-sighted, men and 
women, who could not with their accustomed prudence take 
hold of the True Reformers until it had shown itself strong 
enough to walk without leaning upon them. Only four years 
since (1891) the Grand Worthy Master reported that the 
Order owned very nearly, if not fully, fifty thousand dollars' 
worth of property, showing an increase in four years of more 
than one hundred per cent. This illustration of power and 
union ought to encourage the Race and inspire it to united 
endeavor in all lines of action which tend toward the strength 
of the Race. 

It was deemed best to limit the aggregate of the Bank's 
stock loans to ten thousand dollars. An institution so young 
would probably better not attempt an unlimited circulation. 
Bring to mind that the Savings Bank of the True Reformers 
represented not only the strength and life of the Order, but 
also the financial hope of the Negro in America. Its stability 
was the Gibraltar of Negro business. If it failed, the Negro 
would be set back at least a generation in financial endeavor. 
A dozen Banks owned by Negroes may fail — many had failed 
— but as long as in the financial firmament this Bank can be 
seen to scintillate, the Negro will have hope of his business 
capacity and organize banks. Realizing the importance of 
the life of the Savings Bank, its conservatism expressed in the 

' > . ■■^■■:- 

s. ■ ■• . 

mmmmm : 




'■■■ .'■;-•■'■■'•;•'•'<•:•'•''■.'•; 



■_■_■"' a . .. 


':'..&* :■ 

The First Negro Bank President. The Greatest Leader of his time. 


ten thousand dollars limit to its stock loans may be more fully 
appreciated. This explanation is the more necessary because 
there was some surprise and disappointment upon the part of 
some who applied for loans after the limit had been reached. 
But as loans are collected and surplus created, more loans are 
made, and the time is not far off when it can legitimately and 
without danger extend the aggregate limit of general loans 
to a much greater amount. 

The total deposit for the year 1895 of two hundred and 
eighty-one thousand nine hundred and eighty-one dollars and 
eighty-six cents was an increase of seventy-five thousand four 
hundred and twenty-four dollars and seventy-one cents, or 
about thirty-six per cent, over the preceding year's account; 
and the cash balance reached the handsome amount of twenty- 
five thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine dollars and seven- 
teen cents. Cash handled was five hundred and sixty-three 
thousand and eleven dollars and forty-seven cents, making a 
total of one million seven hundred and eighty-two thousand 
and four dollars and seventy-nine cents for the seven years of 
its existence. Dividend amounted to four thousand four hun- 
dred and twenty dollars; interest at four per cent, paid to 
depositors, two thousand and eighty-nine dollars and thirty- 
eight cents, and a balance to profit account of five thousand 
two hundred and thirty-three dollars and sixty-five cents. 

Mnety-one thousand seven hundred and seventy-three dol- 
lars and four cents to the credit of depositors was a gratifying 
circumstance, because it showed the confidence of the people 
in the business methods of the institution and the integrity of 
its officers. 

The following comparative statement from the Grand Sec- 
retary's report will be a revelation to all interested in life 
insurance : 

There were three hundred and twenty-five deaths in all de- 
partments in 1895, and on account thereof there was paid the 
following endowments (to which we also add the items of cost 
and profit), viz: 


In the Senior Fountains. 

Total amount of endowments paid $30,181 78 

Total cost to deceased 5,109 50 

Profit over cash paid $25,072 28 

In the Rosebud Department. 

Total amount endowments for the year $355 62 

Total cost to insured 31 50 

Profit over cost $324 12 

E Class Endowments. 

Total amount paid out $7,258 00 

Total cost to insured 659 85 

Profit over cost $6,598 15 

B Class Endowments. 

Total amount paid out $3,415 00 

Total cost to deceased 319 68 

Profit over cost $3,095 32 

This table is interesting, in that it shows that, in 1895, three 
hundred and twenty-five beneficiaries received a total of forty- 
one thousand two hundred and ten dollars and sixty cents, at 
a cost of an investment of six thousand one hundred and 
twenty dollars and fifty-three cents — a clear balance of thirty- 
five thousand and eighty-nine dollars and eighty-seven cents. 
Comment is unnecessary. 

Taking into consideration the good work done by the Grand 
Worthy Governess of the Rosebud, Mrs. Eliza Allen, she was 
made "Grand Worthy Governess for the remainder of her life, 
or during good behavior." 

"The Old Folk's Homes" is not a part of this institution, 

Chief, Philadelphia, Pa. 


but is an organization in itself, under the protection of this 
Organization. A fund of two thousand dollars for this bene- 
faction was raised during this year by the members of the 
Order, and deposited in the Savings Bank. This thought 
(caring for the old persons of the Race) of Wm. W. Browne 
rapidly grew into favor throughout the whole Brotherhood 
and the Race generally. Several schemes for collecting money 
for it were invented. Among them were "punch-cards," for 
use in the Rosebuds, and "brick-cards," for use in the Senior 
Fountains. To stimulate interest, encourage effort, and re- 
ward success, it was determined to provide a banner for each 
division, to be awarded to the Fountain raising the largest 
amount in that division, such Fountain to hold the banner 
until defeated b}^ some other Fountain. 

The Reformer had been greatly improved, mechanically and 
otherwise. It was changed from a monthly to a semi- 
monthly. The Board of Directors consisted of W. W. 
Browne, R. T. Hill and W. P. Burrell. The editorial staff 
was enlarged by the addition of Mr. Edward Ellis, Jr., Mr. 
F. D. Banks. Mr. C. C. Somerville, Mr. P. E. Anderson, 
Mrs. V. H. West and Mrs. M. E. Burrell, and Mr. E. W. 
Vaughan was appointed as business manager. 

The Grand Worthy Master was given authority to make 
necessary arrangements for an exhibit at the Atlanta Expo- 
sition, "if in his judgment it was practicable." 

The matter of the purchase of the "Plans" of the Order 
having been tabled for a year's consideration at the last Grand 
session, was taken from the table for consideration. The 
Grand Worthy Master said: 

"It has taken me fifteen years to create, establish and put 
in operation the seven branches, together with the Old Folk's 
Homes, making eight in all, of the Grand Fountain, United 
Order of True Reformers. T have completed the work; I 
started fifteen years ago alone. To-day I present you with 
an Organization with seven branches completed, with the 


Old Folk's Homes in its arms, with two thousand dollars in 
cash to assist itself, and with more than twenty thousand lov- 
ing hearts. It has become an organization, employing and pay- 
ing more than two hundred and fifty laborers, instead of one ; 
the fruit of one man's brains and efforts put forth fifteen 
years ago, and steadily, day by day, week by week, month by 
month, and year by year, added to it, until it has traveled a 
journey of fifteen years ; and this servant now asks you to re- 
lieve him of the 'Plans' — to give him something for the 'Plans' 
— whatever you choose, for your Organization and the build- 
ing of it." 

On Friday, September 7, 1895, at the afternoon session, the 
following was the procedure, viz: The Grand Worthy Mas- 
ter opened the question by saying: 

"Now the next thing, and I am through; but what I want 
to say, I want to say it clearly, plainly and pointedly. I want 
to say it in a way that you need not fear. Now, brethren and 
sisters, whatever you may give me, I am not going to take it 
out at once ; I don't desire to have you take it out of your busi- 
ness at once, but I suggest that you take it out, so much this 
year, so much another year, and so on, in any way that it will 
not hurt the institution. 

"Another thing: I am not going to lessen my zeal and 
ardor for the work so long as we can agree in harmony and 
peace. Now, with these remarks, I think I have said enough. 
You see what you are worth — what is your income. You 
gave me one hundred and fifty dollars fifteen years ago. You 
see what I have made you. You see what you have got. I 
need not say anything. It is for you to say." 

It was moved and seconded that we take up the question. 

Brother A. V. Norrell made a motion, as a first bid, "that 
the Grand Fountain give the Grand Worthy Master twenty 

12th and D Streets, Washington, D. C. 


thousand dollars for his 'Plans,' to be bought in such a way 
as will not hurt the institution." 

Cries of "Not enough !" were heard on all sides, and amend- 
ments were offered thick and fast, increasing the amount. 

Sister Hunt, of New York, stated that, "as he (Browne) 
was willing to take it on the instalment plan," she did not 
think thirty thousand or thirty-five thousand would be any 
too much. 

Brother Slaughter, of West Virginia, stated, that, as 
through Mr. Browne's instrumentality, so much had been 
brought to this institution, and that, as the laborer is worthy 
of his hire, he thought that five per cent, of the gross income 
of this institution would not be any too much. 

F. D. Banks, of Hampton, stated that he stood second to 
none in his admiration for Mr. Browne; second to none in 
the loyalty of this Organization; second to none in the esti- 
mation of the value of his work to the Race; but that he 
thought that we had better go slow in the matter, as what we 
did would either be to the permanent injury or permanent 
good of this Organization. He stated that he was anxious 
that we should do what is just to Brother Browne, and also 
that which is safe to the Order. He stated that Mr. Browne 
was paid, and that, so far as the services Brother Browne 
rendered the institution is concerned, he thought that every 
man who is employed to work anywhere, it is his duty to do 
the work in the wisest and best way. That is why Brother 
Browne is so dear to us. He stated that they had recognized 
his greatness when, at Petersburg, they made him Grand 
Worthy Master for life, or during good behavior. He stated 
that the "Plans" are as much due to the people as to him. He 
then compared the work of the Grand Worthy Master to 
himself, a bookkeeper, stating that as he was employed to 
keep the books of the Hampton Institute, it was to his interest 
to make or keep them in the best mode possible. He asked 
what was wanted. 

The Grand Worthy Master arose and stated: "If you are 

204 twenty-tot: years history 

going to please everybody on the outside, you are not going 
to do anything, because there are a whole lot of people that 
are not going to be pleased anyway. We have got a whole 
lot of people with us that are not going to be pleased, but 
what you do, do wisely. I don't want you to do anything 
unwisely. You know you bought the Regalia department from 
me. You gave it to me. It was for me to sell it back to you 
if I wanted to, or to keep it. It has paid for itself, and has 
made already over seven thousand dollars. Some said when 
you gave me three thousand dollars you did the worst thing 
you ever did, but you did the best thing. I think you have 
one hundred thousand dollars' worth of property. You owe 
on that property fourteen thousand dollars. Now, you have 
a Bank second to none in this country. Xow, you have all 
the 'Plans.' I want you to know that I am more than a book- 
keeper; I want you to know that I made the book; I built 
the manufactory that made the book. Had the True Reform- 
ers built the institution and employed me to keep books, then 
you could have talked so; but when the institution gave me 
one hundred and fifty dollars and told me to go and build the 
institution and put it into operation, then I am more. Xow, 
I will tell you what I think will be right for you to do. You 
have an Organization; you have everything intact; every- 
thing in grand working order. You have the Fountain, Rose- 
bud, B and E Classes, all paying their face value; you have 
my own 'Plans,' but you gave me nothing; you have your 
banking system ; you gave me no 'Plans'; you gave me no Real 
Estate department, but I created it; so she comes back to you 
with one hundred thousand dollars' worth of property; so 
she comes back to you all manned; we have buildings all over 
this country. You gave me no paper, but look at your Re- 
former^ forging to the front like lightning. 

"Xow look at the Regalia department. It looks like I was 
a fool in selling that department — not you. You ask what 
will please me. I will tell you what will please me : You give 



me forty thousand dollars, and pay it to me in seven years 
from the General fund, and I will be satisfied." 

Dr. T. S. P. Miller, of New York, stated that he felt 

Chief, Washington, D. C. 

ashamed when twenty thousand dollars was offered Mr. 
Browne. He contrasted the "Plans" of the Grand Worthy 
Master with the legal knowledge of Joseph H, Choate, whom 


he said, when the question arose in this country in regard to 
taxing personal property, etc., went to Washington and gave 
his legal knowledge on the question, for which he was awarded 
one hundred thousand dollars. Why was it? Because he had 
given his brain; he had given valuable information to this 
country. This great man has done that for you. This man 
has given us more than any man for this Race. 

A motion was pending, for which a substitute was offered 
by Dr T. S. P. Miller, "that the Grand Fountain give the 
Grand Worthy Master fifty thousand dollars from the Gen- 
eral Fund," to which an amendment was made, that "the vote 
be taken without discussion," which was carried. 

Thus the Grand Fountain voted to give the Grand Worthy 
Master fifty thousand dollars for his "Plans," by a standing 
vote, which was almost unanimous. 

Great applause and prolonged cheers expressed the gratifi- 
cation felt. 


I. L. Thomas: "There are two men who shall never die in 
our memory — John Brown and William Washington Browne. 
The white and the colored people of this republic shall outlive 
prejudice and injustice before the next century passes away. 
The Brown before the rebellion and the Browne after the 
rebellion shall cause the white man to grasp the black man's 
hand, regarding him truly as his equal. Blow the trumpet, 
our Worthy Grand Master, that the eight million blacks may 
hear the call. Teach the lessons — unity and possession. You 
shall triumph over every foe. Fear not the howling of any 
monster; he cannot do you, nor us, any great harm. Do your 
duty, as heaven reveals it. Be of good cheer, brother, and 
journey on." 

Mr. M. E. Gerst (welcome) : "Our institution has stood 
the crucial tests of fifteen years, and in that time there have 
been some flattering achievements made. Success has crowned 
our efforts. Despite the fact that we have had great political 


revolutions, and a financial crisis that has shaken this country 
from center to circumference, and business enterprises of no 
mean repute have had to close their doors, and banks have 
fallen like straw amid flames — notwithstanding all this, the 
Grand Fountain to-day, with sails set and banners unfurled, 
a matchless lion of finance on the high seas of the business 
world, makes its way onward." 

A. J. Oliver (response) : "I wish to God I had the power 
this moment to call to my aid the dead great men, to call to 
my assistance the living great men, that I may Avrite a scroll 
and hang it upon the walls of posterity; I would then at- 
tempt to write certain names upon that scroll. I would dip 
my pen and write, first, the name of Touissant L'Overture. 
(Applause.) I would dip again, and I would continue to 
write; I would not forget the great Negro who spilled the 
first blood for American Independence — Chrispus Attucks. 
(Applause.) I would include that other great orator, Robert 
Brown Elliott. (Applause.) I would not forget somewhere 
in North Carolina there was a J. C. Price (great applause), 
whose soul was the temple of wisdom; and, coming back to 
Virginia soil, I would not forget that scholarly man, John 
Langston. (Applause.) Then passing in the district, I must 
not forget the learned, great, old man, Frederick Douglass. 
(Applause.) And finally, dear co-laborers, high above them 
all, let me write it — let me write it with gold — let me write it 
with the ink and oil of unification — I will place the name of 
a general, of a profound thinker, of a most masterly charac- 
ter, the one living Negro who can marshal thousands of Ne- 
groes — a financier, a man and a gentleman — Rev. Wm. W. 

C. C. Somerville: "I believe the time will come when the 
Negro must begin to make history. I am thinking that he 
ought to be making books and papers. I believe that the time 
is come when we ought to appreciate the productions of the 
Negro. I believe the time is come when you ought to hang 
on your wall the picture of some black man. I believe that 

J. Frank Douglas, Roanoke, Va. S. W. Johnson, Manchester, Va. 

J. W. Hunter, Pittsburg, Pa. 
S. H. Baskerville, Northern New Jersey. W. G. L. Wyatt, Wilmington, N. C. 


the time is come when a Negro begins the publication of news- 
papers Ave ought to read them. We ought to read papers pub- 
lished, edited and printed by Negroes. If we do not get en- 
couragement from our people, where shall we go to get it?" 

W. L. Anderson : "I know of nothing to excel the True Re- 
formers. I have set up eleven Fountains; I am catching some 
of the very best doctors and lawyers that come to Pittsburg, 
and they are going in the Order every day. We want all the 
Negroes of this country. We want all to come together and 
shake hands and continue to achieve victories." 

Mr. I. Garland Perin (of the Atlanta Exposition Commis- 
sion) : "The Negro in the South does not want politicians to 
represent him. He wants some one who has done something 
for the progress of the Race. I said that I knew of but two 
colored men to fill this place; they are men who have done 
something; they are Booker Washington and William W. 

"The Northern white people do not care anything for a 
Southern exhibit; but the reason that they are so interested in 
the Atlanta Exposition is because the Negro figures so promi- 
nently in it; and if you disappoint them, you will put a stmn- 
bling-block in your way that you will never get over. 

"Now, my friends, T hope that you will see the wisdom in 
making an exhibit at Atlanta, and, if you do, we will crown 
the Negro Eace with Victory! Victory!" 



September 1, 1895, to August 31, 1896, constituted the next 
"Grand Fountain fiscal year." 

The first thing of moment to occur was "steps taken" by 
the Grand Worthy Master to arrange for an exhibit at the 
Atlanta Exposition. A pictorial exhibit was decided upon, 
because it would be better calculated to show up the objects 
and workings of the Organization. Photographs of all the 
buildings owned and controlled by the Grand Fountain were 
obtained, as well as photographs of the interior of all the 
office rooms. A large sign, twenty-five feet in length, carry- 
ing the name of the Grand Fountain and its seven branches; 
literature of the Bank; a full line of samples of regalia, were 
all used as a part of the exhibit ; and twenty-five thousand 
copies of a little pamphlet called "The History of the Seven 
Branches," were distributed. The object of the exhibit was 
to show to the world what the Negro had done and was doing 
for his own elevation along financial lines, and introduce the 
Organization to the thousands of Negroes who visited the 
Exposition. It had the desired effect. The total cost of the 
exhibit was seven hundred and eighty-four dollars and forty- 
one cents. The opening was to be on the 18th of the month, 
which left but a few days for preparation, the motion having 
been made but ten days before the opening. 

W. TV. Browne, Grand TVorthy Master; Booker T. Wash- 
ington, Bishop Gaines, I. Garland Penn, and four others, 
were the representatives of the Race which were given a place 
in the parade, which was the preface to the grand opening. 
Eight Negroes to represent eight million, or one to the million. 
Probably that was the proper ratio, for W. W. Browne was 
undoubtedly "one out of a million" — and more. The same 
might be said of Mr. Washington, and no doubt of each of 
the "big eight." They being the only Negroes in that great 










i— i 




i— i 
















procession, the management had some difficulty in assigning 
and keeping them in a place, for one marshal would give 
them a place and another would change it; but they finally 
reached the fair ground. 

The exhibit was given a place, and Messrs. M. B. Jones, 
E. J. Kyles, W. P. Burrell, M. E. Gerst, John H. Braxton 
and Mrs. M. E. Burrell were, in turn, in charge of it. 

According to some newspaper reports, it was claimed that 
there was great dissatisfaction because of the purchase of 
the "Plans." An investigation of the various divisions showed 
this to be untrue. 

During this year new territory was added to the already 
wide domain of the Order; Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati, O., 
and Xew Haven. Conn., were captured. 

Two remarkable improvements characterized the Order 
this year (189G). First, a greater increase than ever in the 
growth of the Order, and a decrease in the death rate. 

The Bosebud Fountains were prosperous, thirty-two being 
organized during the year. Many in B and E Classes allowed 
themselves to become unbenefited, but in spite of this untoward 
circumstance, the revenue from these two Classes had been 
sufficient to meet all the endowments and leave a respectable 
balance to their credit, and the benefited membership in both 
Classes increased. The Bank did a thriving business, all out 
of proportion to the general depression in business consequent 
upon the financial stringency. 

The Reformer took another step forward. It was changed 
to a weekly on the first of January, 1890. An entirely new 
jDrinting plant was purchased and fitted up in the True Re- 
formers' building in Fulton. The subscriptions increased to 
three thousand one hundred and twenty-one — more than one 
hundred per cent, gain over the year before. . 

The whole field of operations was divided into two divi- 
sions, Xorth and South, the Potomac river marking the divid- 
ing line, the jurisdiction over them being given to Deputy- 
Generals. These officers were appointed by the Grand Worthy 


Master, with the concurrence of the Grand Fountain. The 
first to be so appointed were Rev. W. L. Taylor, Deputy-Gen- 
eral of the Southern Grand Division, and S. W. Rutherford, 
Deputy-General of the Northern Grand Division. Their 
duties were to appoint special deputies, messengers and can- 
vassers in their divisions ; to recommend to the Grand Worthy 
Master persons for appointment as county, State or division 
deputies; to hold union meetings and hold schools for in- 
struction of officers in the rules and usages of the Grand 
Fountain. They were also made inspectors of the member- 
ship, and to report upon infractions of the law which might 
come to their notice. 

A strenuous effort was made to exclude the Order from the 
State of New York, but on the 20th of April the Grand 
Worthy Master met the commissioner in person, and gave 
satisfaction by explaining to him the full working of the 

In Michigan the enemy was also at work; in consequence, 
on or about the 18th of February, a letter was received from 
Taylor Carter, of Jackson, Mich., including two notes from 
the insurance commissioner, stating that "the Grand Fountain 
had no authority to operate in Michigan." A committee from 
Jackson and Lansing was appointed to wait on the commis- 
sioner, and explain to him the nature of our Organization. 
The operation of the True Reformers was not in opposition 
to the laws of Michigan ; we have continued our work. Ene- 
mies made all kinds of attempts to create a run upon the 
Bank, but it grew stronger each day — every adverse effort 

On February 2d, the rate of death assessments for Senior 
Fountains was reduced as follows: On a one hundred and 
twenty-five dollar death claim, one-third of one cent from 
each treasury; on a seventy-five dollar claim, one- fourth of a 
cent from the mutual and one-fifth of a cent from the sick 
treasury. This was found to be sufficient to pay all claims. 

a > 


o § 

fa g 



From Senior Fountains, thirty-eight thousand eight hun- 
dred and seventy-eight dollars and forty-nine cents; from 
Kosebuds, one thousand three hundred and eighty dollars and 
eighty cents; from Class E, eight thousand seven hundred 
and twenty-nine dollars and eighty-one cents; from Class B, 
five thousand seven hundred and fifty-four dollars and forty- 
four cents ; total, fifty-four thousand seven hundred and forty- 
three dollars and fifty-four cents. 

General fund receipts, thirty-six thousand and two dollars 
and eighty-three cents ; stock and real estate, twenty-one thou- 
sand four hundred and sixty-nine dollars and forty cents; 
grand total, one hundred and twelve thousand two hundred 
and fifteen dollars and seventy-seven cents. 


By death claims in Senior Fountains, thirty-two thousand 
four hundred and thirty-eight dollars and seventy-seven 
cents; in Rosebuds, seven hundred and twenty-three dollars 
and sixty-three cents; in Class E, nine thousand seven hun- 
dred and eighty-two dollars; in Class B ? two thousand eight 
hundred and fifty dollars; total death claims, forty-five thou- 
sand seven hundred and ninety-four dollars and forty cents. 

By General fund, thirty-nine thousand and eighty dollars 
and fifty-one cents; Real Estate, twenty-two thousand two 
hundred and sixteen dollars and eighty-nine cents ; grand total 
disbursements, one hundred and seven thousand and ninety- 
one dollars and eighty cents. Balance, five thousand one hun- 
dred and twenty-three dollars and ninety-seven cents. 

The business of the Savings Bank, including the items re- 
ferred to just above, were sufficient to bring the total receipts 
up to three hundred and forty-five thousand nine hundred 
and fifty-two dollars and ninety-one cents, and the disburse- 
ments to three hundred and forty-eight thousand and twenty- 
eight dollars and sixteen cents, cutting the cash balance from 


last year's standard to twenty-three thousand eight hundred 
and fifty-three dollars and fifty-three cents. Total amount of 
business done by the Bank to date is two million four hundred 
and seventy-five thousand nine hundred and eighty-five dol- 
lars and eighty-six cents. 

The fund for "The Old Folk's Homes" swelled to four 
thousand and ten dollars, and the Executive Board was em- 
powered to secure such charter as may be necessary. 

TVe cannot find a more fitting close for the narrative of this 
period than the words of the Grand Worthy Master: 

"The Grand Fountain makes capital and labor friends. In- 
stead of having boycotts and strikes, we have a new way by 
creating for ourselves the means to take the unemployed out 
of the market. The Grand Fountain in 1881 was simply a 
little band of laborers not able to employ one man, but to- 
day employs two hundred and fifty men and women. When 
she becomes an employer, she becomes a capitalist. And what 
do you see to-day if You see one hundred thousand dollars' 
worth of property bought. Is it paid for? All except six 
thousand five hundred dollars. "Why is that not paid? Be- 
cause it i> not due. This property to-day is bringing in an 
income of twenty-four thousand dollars a year." 



M. B. Jones (welcome) : "The great question of '16 to 1,' 
which is now before the American citizen, and which must 
be decided by him on the 3d of November, has been decided 
by us already, for we believe in an honest dollar, honest obliga- 
tions, honestly kept. 

"There is not a man. woman or child that can rise up and 
say that the Grand Fountain owes him anything. 

"Any creditor of this Organization has as much faith in it 
as he has in the Government to keep her obligations. 

"Sixteen years of unparalleled success look down upon you. 



These years have passed like a dream, having taken us from 
the orphan asylum, where we were renters, to the largest 
Negro building in the city, where we are the owners." 

Mrs. Annie Willis: "I tell you, if I never see anything 
more, I shall die and praise God for what I have seen, and 
that is this noble Order. I am glad of one thing, and that is 
that our white friends have no claim on the brain of the or- 

Stenographer 1897, Washington, D. C. 


Private Secretary to Rev. W. W. Browne 
and Rev. W. L. Taylor, Richmond, Va. 

ganizer of the True Reformers. I tell you, my dear friends, 
they claim a great deal that the colored people do, but, thank 
God, they cannot claim this." 

Sister Jordan (of Washington, D. C.) : "I have traveled 
in different States, and I have tried other organizations, but I 
have never known any to equal this. Our Grand Worthy 
Master is our General, and if all will follow him and be true 
to their trust, there will be no race on earth to equal ours. 
I admonish all of you to be true to your trust, and we will be 


able to solve this so-called Negro problem. Let us all go 
ahead in one great phalanx and push the battle to the gates." 
Rev. J. A. Taylor: "About sixteen years ago, in the streets 
of Richmond, I met on Broad street a dark man with a slick 
coat on and a basket in hand. He made himself acquainted 
with me. He began to tell me about an institution that he had 
in his mind. He went on to unfold his panoramic scenery 
to me. 

"I told him I was in a hurry. I went around the corner, 
laughing at the ideas which he presented to me. 

"Sixteen years have rolled away, and that little man that 
I met on Broad street sixteen years ago, walking through the 
street seeking somebodj^ to take up his 'Plans,' is now the 
President of the grandest Organization that is known in 

Rev. Dr. Walter H. Brooks: "I speak as an outsider. I 
am not a member of the True Reformers; I am not an Odd- 
Fellow; I am not a Mason. I thank God for anything that 
educates us along that line. I was impressed with the fact 
that one of your reports stated that seventeen thousand dol- 
lars have gone to pay salaries alone, for persons employed by 
this institution. If it have done nothing else under heaven 
than to spend seventeen thousand dollars in giving employ- 
ment to colored people, it would be worthy of its existence. 
And here is an institution with an army of men and woirien 
doing to-day what others have been doing for us. I belong 
to an insurance company. I do not think that there is a col- 
ored person anywhere employed therein. I have poured into 
that institution from fifty to seventy-five dollars per year. 
It is a grand thing that you should take your money and in- 
vest it where it will not only come to you and your children, 
but shall give employment to the living." 

Rev. J. H. Holmes: "A great number of our people are 


dying every day, and we must look out for these old people. 
You talk about building these homes, and some believe that 
they will be built, but the thing that we want to do is to build 
them. Last night eight hundred and thirty dollars was sub- 
scribed, and it was said that there was over four thousand 
dollars in the Bank; now let us go forward and build." 

Chief 1898 Roanoke, Va. 



September, 1896, to September, 1898, was a period whose 
history left its indelible marks upon the Order, and could ap- 
propriately be called memorial, for one of the greatest Ne- 
groes of his generation seemed to feel that his departure was 
at hand, and every word seemed an admonition to his beloved 
Order and his Race, which he loved with an all-consuming 

Directly after the "Money Stone Day," in 1891, Rev. 
Browne made a lecturing tour of Pennsylvania, his principal 
point being Pittsburg. While at Pittsburg he was seriously 
affected by the water, to which he had not been used. The 
action of the water on the bowels caused a severe attack of 
piles, and on his return it became necessary to have an opera- 
tion performed upon him by Drs. George Ross and G. B. 
Stover. From the effects of this attack he never fully recov- 
ered, and his health was ever thereafter seriously impaired. 
He discovered, in February, 1897, a peculiar growth upon his 
right arm, which refused to yield to treatment. He consulted 
various doctors, and, upon the advice of Dr. Ross, an operation 
was performed in March, 1897. This operation did not check 
the growth or trouble, whatever it was. He consulted other 
doctors, who advised the removal of his arm, but believing 
that he could save his arm and his life, too, he did not take 
the advice of his physicians, but proceeded to Winchester, Va., 
where he placed himself in charge of a Dr. Whitlock, under 
whose treatment he seemed to receive temporary relief. He 
returned to Richmond in August, 1897, but found himself 
growing worse and worse. 

Rev. W. W. Browne said in his report at the annual session 
of 1897 : "I discovered in February a knot at the end of my 
elbow that was giving me untold pain, and I found that my 
eyes were weakening, my eyesight becoming impaired, ears, 


nose and mouth sore. It seemed to be undermining the very 
foundation of my health. I proceeded to employ a doctor to 
treat my eyes, which was very successful. I finally sought Dr. 
Eoss, and I engaged him to remove the knot at the end of my 
elbow. The latter part of May bumps reappeared all over my 
arm; my arm continued to grow worse and was very painful. 
Dr. Eoss took me to Dr. McGuire, and Dr. McGuire said that 
he had very sad news for me — my arm must come off at the 
shoulder to prevent blood poisoning.'' 

At the Grand Fountain session in 1897, on Saturday morn- 
ing, the next thing being in order the election of officers, the 
Grand Master said that the officers were generally nominated 
by the Executive Committee and elected by the body. Ee- 
ferring to himself, he said he was not going to sta} r , but was 
going to put W. L. Taylor in his place. Said he: "I am 
going away to look after my health, and I shall not be looking 
after any. True Eeformers. I have been looking after the 
True Eeformers for seventeen years, and I have never had a 
year. I do not know whether you will recommend that my 
salary be continued, but I am going anyway, and I want 
everybody to know that I will not be responsible for the office 
while I am gone. Some say that I must lose my arm, but that 
is the question. I want it plainly understood that if anything 
goes wrong while I am away. I will not be responsible." 

On motions of Messrs. A. B. Winslow and Peter Singleton, 
it was decided that the Grand Worthy Master be given one 
year leave of absence, with full pay, and that W. L. Taylor 
be put in his place, with full powers of Grand Worthy Master. 
Thus the mantle of Elijah falls upon Elisha. 

The Eev. W. L. Taylor assumes the responsibilities and 
prerogatives of the leadership of the great mechanism which 
has done and is doing so much to revolutionize the business 
methods of the American Xegro. The reports recount the 
first experience of the working of the Order under the two 
Grand Divisions system. S. W. Eutherford. Deputy-General of 
the Northern Grand Division, began to cultivate his field on 










October 12, 1896, by holding union meetings, training schools, 
installing chiefs, reorganizing lapsed messengers' meetings, 
holding public meetings, visiting Fountains, organizing Divi- 
sions, putting members in the Classes, selling stock, appealing 
for money for the Old Folk's Homes, and opening up new 
fields. He visited every Division in his jurisdiction from one 
to three times during the first twelve months, and made spe- 
cial appeals for the Old Folk's Homes with gratifying results. 

The Rev. W. L. Taylor was the first Deputy-General of the 
Southern Grand Division, and for twelve months traveled 
and administered his Grand Division with commendable zeal. 
In less than twelve months he sold a large number of shares of 
stock and did much in favor of the Old Folk's Homes. 

Immediately after the adjournment of the session of the 
Grand Fountain in 1897, Rev. W. W. Browne left Richmond 
for Philadelphia, Pa., to place himself under the treatment of 
a skin specialist. Dr. Wm. Still, of Mount Holly, N. J., was 
recommended, and Rev. Browne became an inmate of his 
sanitarium. Not improving very much under the treatment 
of Dr. Still, Rev. Browne removed to Washington, D. C, and 
placed himself under the treatment of Dr. R. W. Brown. Dr. 
Brown caused a consultation to be held with the leading spe- 
cialists of Washington, and it was decided that he was suf- 
fering from cancer of the skin, and that the one possible hope 
of recovery would be in the removal of the arm. After more 
mature consideration, it was decided that to remove the arm 
would mean instant deatli to him, so they proceeded to admin- 
ister palliative remedies. This relieved him for awhile, but 
on the 21st day of December, 1897, the soul of William Wash- 
ington Browne, the organizer and financier, in the presence 
of his doctors, his wife, Mrs. Nora McGwynn, Messrs. R. T. 
Hill, S. W. Rutherford and C. S. Curtis, passed to the land 
of his fathers. 

A memorial service was held in the Metropolitan Church, 
Washington, D. C. The Rev. I. L. Thomas, who was in charge 
of the service, spoke only as one who knew Mr. Browne during 


his life could speak. His sermon was instructive and well 
suited to the occasion. He was assisted by Revs. W. H. Hun- 
ter, Walter H. Brook, D. D., and J. Anderson Taylor. All 
of these divines were well acquainted with W. W. Browne 
during his life. A series of resolutions from the Washington 
Division were read, which were touching and appropriate. 
The burial service of the Order was conducted by Rev. J. T. 
Carpenter, after which his remains were escorted to the Penn- 
sylvania depot and brought by special car to Richmond, where 
they were met by hundreds of friends, and carried to the 
True Reformers' Hall, and there lay in state until the final 
burial ceremonies were held on the 24th of December, 1897. 
The following persons accompanied the remains from Wash- 
ington to Richmond: Mrs. Harriet Dabney ? Mrs. Frances H. 
James, Drs. R. W. Brown, A. J. Gwathney, W. K. Scott, 
Messrs. C. S. Curtis, C. N. Green, Mrs. Virginia F. Winslow, 
Mrs. Harriet Price, Mr. J. W. Branson, Mr. Henry Wash- 
ington, Mr. E. R. Washington, Mr. M. B. Jones, Mr. Oswell 
Bowser, Rev. W. H. Brooks, Mr. S. W. Rutherford, Mrs. M. 
E. Taylor, Miss S. P. Robb, Messrs. R. T. Hill, G. W. Gar- 
nett, J. H. Winslow, Mrs. Ardelia Peyton, Mrs. M. E. Jordan 
and Rev. J. T. Carpenter. 

Rev. W. L. Taylor, Grand Worthy Master and President, 
being in charge of the affairs of the Grand Fountain, United 
Order of True Reformers, and by reason of the death of the 
late Grand Worthy Master and President, Rev. William 
Washington Browne, deemed it but befitting that during the 
funeral ceremonies and burial of the late founder, he accom- 
pany the bereaved widow as her escort, and accordingly ap- 
pointed Mr. W. P. Burrell, Grand Worthy Secretary, to take 
charge of the funeral and exercises on this occasion, thus ac- 
counting for his inactivity in the arrangement and the con- 
ducting of the same. 

The Third Street A. M. E. Church, of which Rev. W. W. 
Browne was a member, was selected as the place for the fu- 
neral services to be held. Mr. Paul C. Easley was appointed 



chief marshal, with the following aides: Mr. W. H. Ander- 
son, Richmond; Mr. E. McPhierson, Roanoke; Thomas Jack- 
son, F. L. Williams, James Wilson and James Cunningham, 

Mr. Thomas Blackwell was appointed chief usher, with the 


Chief, Baltimore, Md. 

following assistants: B. L. Jordan, A. M. Burton, Wm. 
Clarke, James L. Burrell, Emmett C. Burke, Allen Jones, 
K. P. Cousins, Willie Wilson and C. H. Davis. 

The arrangements for the pall-bearers were placed in the 


hands of Mr. R. T. Hill, who selected the following : Active — 
Thomas Knight, Sully Bell, R. J. Foster, Harrison Adams, 
Albert Logan, Deleware Williams, Nelson Speed and A. V. 
James. Honorary — R. T. Hill, Edward Ellis, E. W. Brown, 
J. T. Carpenter, Drs. S. H. Dismond, A. J. Gwathney, J. E. 
Jones, Rev. J. H. Brice, A. W. Holmes, M. B. Jones, Giles B. 
Jackson, James H Hayes, James Allen, J. W. Branson, Dr. 
W. K. Scott, J. F. K. Simpson, D. J. Farrar, G. W. Garnett, 
Arthur Hayes, Robert Hines ? W. R. Gullins, Moses Norrell, 
R, F. Robinson, W. H. White, Clarke Davenport, Dr. R. E. 
Jones and Robert Forrester. 

A guard of honor was appointed out of the office force, and 
from the time the remains reached Richmond until conveyed 
to their final resting place, they were never out of sight of 
some members of the guard. 

On Friday morning at nine o'clock delegations of True Re- 
formers began to arrive, and every one could see that some 
great event was appointed to take place. Chief Marshal P. C. 
Easley assembled the aides and gave them orders on the for- 
mation of the parade. The ushers reported to Mr. Thomas 
Blackwell. The pall-bearers reported to Mr. R. T. Hill. Rev. 
C. A. Holmes received the visiting pastors at the church. At 
11 :30 A. M. every chief and chairman reported to the Worthy 
Master, Mr. W. P. Burrell, that everything was in readiness, 
and he gave the order to move. There was formed then and 
there the most imposing funeral procession ever seen in Rich- 
mond. The fine, new black hearse of Mr. A. D. Price, with 
its rubber tires, and drawn by four black horses, rolled silently 
up to the door of the office, where the body lay in state. The 
two leading horses were Jerry and Marie, the two horses pre- 
sented to Mr. Browne by the Brotherhood in 1894; thus, ac- 
cording to his own request, he was drawn to his last abode 
by his own horses. To the accompanying strains of the band, 
the casket was tenderly raised by the active pall-bearers and 
borne to the hearse. The line was then formed in the follow- 
ing order : First Battalion Band, Virginia Volunteers, guides 


with rods 01 office, male members of King Solomon Foun- 
tain, W. P. Burrell and his supporters, consisting of the 
chiefs of sixteen Divisions ; honorary pall-bearers in carriages, 
hearse, with escort of twelve men ; family carriages, carriages 
with office force, carriages with King Solomon Fountain, and 
carriages with the female members of the various Fountains 
of the Order. The line of march was, as mapped out, up 
Second to Baker, down Baker to Brook avenue, up Brook 
avenue to Leigh street, down Leigh street to Third, up Third 
to the church. All along the route, notwithstanding the bitter 
cold, great crowds stood to see the procession pass. There 
were white as well as colored among the spectators. There 
had never been seen anything like it in Richmond before. 
Arriving at the church, the column was halted and the casket 
removed from the hearse and borne on the shoulders of eight 
stalwart men into the church. W. P. Burrell, Acting Worthy 
Master, supported by Mr. R. X. Jackson and Mr. John H. 
Braxton, led the way into the church. These were followed 
by the chiefs of Divisions who were present. Rev. R. Wells, 
Grand Worthy Chaplain, walked next to the pall-bearers. 
Revs. C. A. Holmes and J. Wesley Johnson, dressed in Epis- 
copal robes, read the Methodist burial service, and were fol- 
lowed by the honorary pall-bearers, bearing numerous and 
costly funeral designs. The church was not large enough to hold 
the people who desired to enter, and the ushers had all that 
they could do to manage the vast throng of eager persons, all 
desiring to see and hear. An organ voluntary was played 
by the church organist. Hymn. "My God, the Spring of 
All My Joys." was sung, after which Rev. R. O. Johnson, 
pastor of the Moore Street Baptist Church, read the second 
chapter of Job. Rev. J. E. Rawlins, pastor of the First Pres- 
byterian Church, prayed a very feeling prayer. He referred 
to the great loss which the nation had sustained, and asked 
God's blessing upon the Order and the bereaved ones. Mrs. 
Fannie Payne Walker sang a solo, "I Would Not Live Al- 



The following resolutions and letters of condolence were 
read by Mr. R. J. Kyles, private secretary to the late Grand 
Master : 

Richmond, Va., December 24. 1897. 

Rev. R. A. Holmes: 

You are requested to preach the funeral of my deceased 


Chief of Washington, D. C., Lynchburg, Chief, Montgomery, W. Va. 

Roanoke, Staunton and Fisherville, Va. 

husband. Rev. William Washington Browne, who departed 
this life Tuesday, December 21st, at Washington, D. C, in 
the forty-ninth year of his age. He was afflicted with a 
grievous malady for many months, but, like Job, he bore it 
patiently, and continued to thank God for His goodness to 
him. During his illness he found comfort in the many pas- 
sages of Scripture which have been his guidance through life. 
Many beautiful hymns which he had sung during health now 


cheered his dreary hours. Among his favorite passages oi 
Scripture were the following: The twenty-third Psalm, the 
fourth and eighth chapters of Proverbs, and the second chap- 
ter of Job. In his dying hours he asked that the following 
hymns be sung: "My hope is built on nothing less," "My 
God, the spring of all my joys," "Ashamed of Jesus," and 
"I would not live always." He has been a consistent Chris- 
tian and member and officer of the Methodist church for 
many years, and for twenty-six years has been a minister of 
the gospel. He lived a consistent Christian life, and was a 
faithful and loving husband. He was not narrow in his 
views, but believed that, to be a good Christian, one must 
follow Christ and work for the betterment of humanity. He 
carefully made every arrangement for his funeral, ordering 
among other things that his body be brought to Richmond 
and buried from the church he loved so well. 

Yours in Christ, 

M. A. Browne. 

Office of the Grand Fountain, U. O. T. E., 
Nos. 604, GOG, G08 N. Second Street. 
Richmond, Va., December 24, 1897. 
Rev. C. A. Holmes: 

Worthy Brother, — It is with feelings of the most profound 
sorrow that we write you this letter, uniting with the family 
in the request that you conduct the funeral services over the 
remains of our lamented chieftain, Rev. William Washington 
Browne. Seventeen years ago he came to this city and State 
a stranger, with nothing but his great love for the cause of 
Christ and suffering humanity, but with plans for the uplift- 
ing and the uniting of the whole Negro Race. To-day we 
ask you, not to preach the funeral of the stranger, but to 
preach the funeral of a world-famed leader; one who leaves 
his impressions on every heart in the land, and whose monu- 
ments are reared not only in great buildings of brick and 
stone, but in everlasting deeds of charity and philanthropy. 


We ask you, in the name of thousands of widows and orphans 
who have been cheered and comforted by him, that you will 
conduct these services as the representative of the forty thou- 
sand True Reformers and the bereated millions of the Kace. 
Yours in Unity, Temperance and Charity, 

The Grand Fountain, U. O. T. R., 
W. L. Taylor, G. W. M., 
W. P. Burrell, G. W. Sec'y. 

Richmond, Va., December 24, 1897. 
This is to certify that the late Rev. W. W. Browne was a 
member of King Solomon Fountain, No. 7, from its organiza- 
tion to the time of his death, during which time he served as 
Worthy Messenger until his duties became so arduous that he 
appointed another to fill the position ; also serving as Worthy 
Master for about thirteen years. 

In the Fountain he was faithful and a promoter of the 
Order and the Race. We deeply regret our loss, but submit 
to the will of the Divine, who cloeth all things for the best. 
Respectfully submitted in U. T. and C, 

R. N. Jackson, W. M., 
L. C. Miller, W. Sec'y. 


Sister Mollie, — You have my sympathy in this your great 
loss. No one can feel for you more deeply than I. May God 
bless and sustain you is the prayer of your friend, 

Daisy E. Jones. 

Brooklyn, N. Y., December 24th. 
W. P. Burrell, G. W. S.— Rev. W. W. Browne fell facing- 
enemy; Brotherhood stand firm; sympathy for bereaved. 

N. B. Dodson, Div. Sec'y, 


Chief, Atlanta, Ga. 


Louisville, Ky., December 22d. 
Mrs. W. W. Browne, 105 W. Jackson street, — Words cannot 
express my feelings for you in this your great sorrow. 

Lucy A. Robinson. 

Rochester, Pa., December 24th. 
Mr. W. P. Burrell, — Impossible to be present. Deepest sym- 
pathy to Rev. Browne's family. 

C. A. Puryear. 

Wilmington, Del., December 22d. 
Mrs, W. W. Browne, — Accept my condolence in bereave- 
ment on account of the loss of your beloved husband and our 
Grand Worthy Master. Respectfully, 

H. C. Stevens. 

Philadelphia, Pa., December 23, 1897. 
As it has pleased Almighty God to move from our midst by 
death our beloved and esteemed President, Brother W. W. 
Browne — 

Resolved, That we, as the Philadelphia Division, do hereby 
express our heartfelt sympathy and extend to the family and 
Order the following resolutions: 

Resolved, That in the death of Brother W. W. Browne, we 
have lost an ardent worker, a leader and a strong advocate 
for our Order, and not only the Order, but an advocate of our 

Be it further resolved, That in the loss of our esteemed and 
honorable President, we have lost a man whose vacancy is 
hard to fill; and, lastly, be it 

Resolved, That we have lost a leader, a financier, an organi- 
zer and an honorable hero, who has fought the fight of life, 
who has led out a nation and introduced them to a financial 
world, and thereby made the world better by his having lived 


in it. And we extend to the family a copy of these resolu- 
tions; also to The Reformer. 

Mrs. Anna M. Willis, 
Miss Maude A. Monroe, and 

Mr. James H. Irving 


Committee on Resolutions. 

Rev. C. A. Holmes, the pastor of Rev. Browne, took as his 
text, "A great man fallen this day in Israel" (2d Samuel 3: 
38). He preached a wonderfully impressive sermon, showing 
the true greatness of W. W. Browne, and at the same time his 
simplicity. He showed that Rev. Browne was one of nature's 
truly great men. 

Rev. R. Wells followed Rev. Holmes in a short eulogy, 
showing the true character of W. W. Browne. He referred 
to him as the financial Moses of the Race, who had led the 
people through great hardships to the sight of the promised 
land of financial success, and now he has dropped his mantle 
upon another. He commended Rev. Browne for his great 
work to establish an Old Folk's Home. 

Rev. James H. Holmes urged the member's of the Order to 
show their appreciation and love for Rev. Browne by not 
deserting his widow in her times of distress. He also urged 
Rev. Taylor to be a man and to stand by the Constitution. 

The choir sang "My hope is built on nothing less." 

Rev. J. Wesley Johnson next followed in a short talk, in 
which he stated that he admired Rev. Browne because he 
had showed his ability to be a man and yet not raise bad 
blood with other people ; that his policy had been such an one 
as tended to unite the Xegro and the white man in business. 

Rev. J. E. Jones spoke very encouragingly of Rev. Browne, 
and said that he had admired him because of his uncom- 
promising genius; that Rev. Browne had impressed him as 
being a man of strong convictions. He said that in examin- 
ing the name of William Washington Browne, he was re- 
mided of three great historical characters — William of Nor- 



mandy, surnamed the Conqueror; George Washington, the 
father of his country ; John Brown, who first taught the doc- 
trine that the Negro should be free, and gave his own life 
in the cause. Dr. Jones said that it was strange that all three 
of these great characters should be brought out in the name 
of William Washington Browne. 

Rev. I. L. Thomas, D. D., next spoke of the great work 
and the value to the nation of W. W. Browne. He said that 
the work of Rev. Browne was of such as to demand perpetual 
remarks telling of the good he had done. He said that he had 

Chief Southern New Jersey, Trenton, N. J. 

often had the pleasure of talking with Eev. Browne over his 
many plans for the advancement of the Negro Race; that in 
his last illness he had visited him, and with pleasure noted 
the Christian fortitude with which he bore his illness. He 
said that as Caiphus said it was necessary to die for his peo- 
ple, so it seemed that Browne had given himself as a sacrifice 
for his people. 

Mr. Thomas Hopkins sang "Fading away like the stars of 
the morning." 


Rev. A. S. Thomas was next introduced, and made a short 
talk on the life and work of W. W. Browne. He said that in 
the death of Browne, a man of God had fallen, and an earnest 
and faithful lover of the cause of Christ and a promoter of 
Race interests. He said that Browne represented the highest 
type of manhood and business qualities, which plainly set 
forth the truth irresistibly that in common all mankind came 
from the hand of God alike, and with him there is no respect 
of persons. 

Mrs. Fannie Payne Walker and Mrs. Georgia Price sang 
"Ashamed of Jesus." 

Rev. Holland Powell offered a very fervent prayer for the 
preservation of the True Reformers, and that God would raise 
a leader for the Organization. 

The impressive burial service of the order ay as next con- 
ducted by Grand Worthy Secretary W. P. Burrell, assisted by 
Rev. R. Wells, Grand Worthy Chaplain, and Mr. John H. 
Braxton, Chief of Real Estate. 

After the burial service by the Order, the casket was borne 
from the church to the hearse, while the band played appro- 
priate music. The march was taken up for the cemetery, 
which Avas reached just as the sun was setting. As the rays 
of the sun disappeared, all that was mortal of William Wash- 
ington Browne was committed to mother earth. The pro- 
cession was such as has never been seen in Richmond before. 
The streets were everywhere lined with spectators. The in- 
terment took place in Rev. Browne's family plot in Sycamore 
Cemetery. The grave was bricked up and a foundation laid 
for a monument to be erected later. So ended the career of 
one of the most remarkable men that the nation has ever 

Immediately after the burial of Rev. Browne, the following 
letter, which was the first official utterance of Rev. Taylor, 
was published: 


"To the Members of the various Fountains, Rosebuds, Classes 
and all Departments of the Grand Fountain: 
Having been placed by the last annual session of the Grand 
Fountain, U. O. T. R., in charge of the office of the Grand 
Master, I have performed the duties thereof with an eye 
single to the Constitution and the good of the Brotherhood 
and all who have entrusted their interests to us. I have care- 
fully examined the workings of every department of this 
great Brotherhood of ours, and I am thankful to say that, 
though we have suffered a great calamity in the death of Rev. 
Browne, the work is in a progressive condition, and the con- 
fidence of everybody in the integrity of the Order is un- 
shaken. The records of all departments show a steady growth 
from September, 1897, to the present, with an increase of 
thirty-two new Fountains and a corresponding increase in all 
other departments. The officers have worked in perfect har- 
mony with me in the discharge of their several duties. I ask 
your prayers for the continuance of God's blessings on the 
Brotherhood and the co-operation of every member of the 
Order in pushing it to greater success; pray that God may 
give us power to faithfully carry out the plans as laid by our 
fallen chief. 

Yours onward, in U. T. and C, 

W. L. Taylor, Grand Worthy Master, 

On the 5th of January, 1898, the Board of Directors met in 
special session at Richmond, Va. A thorough examination 
of the Organization and its condition was made. The deeds 
to the pieces of property held by the Grand Fountain were 
carefully examined, and it was found that all of the property 
was properly deeded to the Grand Fountain; and, on motion, 
the attorney, Mr. Giles B. Jackson, was ordered to have the 
name of W. L. Taylor, who was elected trustee at this session, 
substituted in all deeds for W. W. Browne. Rev. Richard 
Wells was elected to fill the vacancy on the Board of Direc- 
tors caused by the death of Rev. Browne. 

Mr. C. A. Puryear was appointed by President Taylor as 



Deputy-General of the Southern Grand Division in January, 
1898. His strenuous labors up to the time of the grand ses- 
sion accomplished much for the Order, and sent him back to 
the same field. 

On Tuesday, September 6, 1898, Eev. W. L. Taylor, Grand 
Worthy Master by right of succession, called the eighteenth 
annual session of the Grand Fountain to Order. Six hun- 

Rosebud Lecturer, Western Grand Division, 1903, St. Louis, Mo 

dred delegates were enrolled — the largest in the history of 
the Order. 

The opening address of Eev. W. L. Taylor was a powerful 
argument, and is valuable, as it shows the purpose of his ad- 
ministration as demonstrated in later years: 

GRAND FOUNTAIN, U. 0. T. R. 239 

"Beloved brethren and sisters, we have met together in the 
eighteenth annual session of the Grand Fountain, United 
Order of True Reformers We feel thankful to Almighty 
God for the privilege of meeting you this morning. We meet 
you this morning different to any previous session. I connected 
myself with the Order in 1885, and have attended every an- 
nual session since that time until to-day; about twelve years 
have passed away. Though in all of its sessions, never in the 
history of my connection with the Grand Fountain, United 
Order of True Reformers, have I ever met you as I meet you 
this morning. As I appear before you this morning, my be- 
loved brethren and sisters, I feel thankful to Almighty God 
that we are permitted to report to you our conduct for the 
journey over which we have come. As we cast our eyes upon 
this rostrum and then over this vast audience, we see manv 
familiar faces; some we have met in every annual session 
since our connection with the institution. But, as we glance 
about the walls we see strange things, such as were never seen 
before in the seventeen years of the existence of this Organi- 
zation. Never have we been called upon to meet in this hall 
draped in mourning. My brethren and sisters, it brings to my 
mind sad recollections, and as we cast our eyes upon the walls 
and see the pictures of those whom we love, we look into the 
face of the Founder of this institution, who seems as though 
he is ready to speak to us, and then look at the chair ; it tells 
us that one has gone who was dear to us all. It should bring 
to our minds recollections of may things, and at the same time 
bring to our minds the future of many years. What must 
become of the institution since the Founder has gone ? Upon 
whose shoulders depends the prosperity of the institution? 
Whose duty shall it be to foster and carry out the great pur- 
poses that were originated in the brains of its Founder, Rev. 
William Washington Browne? When we think of these sad 
things, no true man or woman, no True Reformer, could but 
pause a moment and say, ; I am a child of a King,' and I, for 
one, intend to stand by the flag through the evil report as 

C5 ~ 





































well as the good. (Applause.) My friends, when we stop 
to consider, sorrow penetrates our hearts. It brings to my 
mind the sad appearance of a widow with a house full of chil- 
dren, who has just lost her husband. When that widow comes 
to the table or to the fireside and looks at that vacant chair 
that used to be filled by a loving husband arid a providing father 
and thinks that he has gone to return no more, she cannot 
help shedding tears; so I feel this morning like a widow. 
I feel like I am a motherless child and far away from my 
father's house. I feel so to-day, and it is not just to-day, 
but I have felt so ever since the death of our beloved hero 
and Founder. But I have looked to God for comfort in my 
efforts to build, up suffering humanity. If we trust in God, 
the devil and all of the artillery of hell cannot put us to 
flight. Time would not permit me, my dear brethren, to pour 
out the contents of my heart. I am not able physically, 
neither am I able intellectually, to explain to you my feelings 
this morning; but I can only drop a thought or two as I pass 
this morning, and take the remainder to God ; and I ask your 
prayers to assist me as I attempt to discharge my duty. 

"My brethren and sisters, since we last met we have had 
many things to contend with. This question brings to my 
mind twelve months ago. If you remember, twelve months 
ago, upon this rostrum, could be seen our noble hero and 
Founder, the greatest financier known to the Negro Race — 
William Washington Browne — who passed through the au- 
dience with an afflicted arm, but his brain was in no way 
impaired. He seemed to be as bright as a silver dollar. I 
asked liim to retire from srny active service, and simply 
give me the command what he would like to have done, and I 
would carry it out to the best of my knowledge ; it seemed that 
he was conscious of the fact that that was the last session he 
would meet. I did not so understand it, and I question 
whether you did. My brethren and sisters, if you will notice, 
you will find that in his seventeenth annual address and in his 
report to the seventeenth annual session, they were different 


from those of any other year. Go back to the origin of the 
institution and read the annual addresses of W. W. Browne, 
from 1881 to 1897, and see if the one delivered in 1897 does not 
differ from all the rest. Notice in his opening remarks he re- 
fers to the institution as a farmer who would go out and pre- 
pare for the incoming crops; he would search the fences, take 
out the rotten rails and put in new ones, because the fences 
must take care of the incoming harvest. Furthermore, we 
notice that he said in his seventeenth annual address: 'My 
brethren and sisters, I have no new recommendations, but I 
want you to study the law of every department of this insti- 
tution; see to it that the laws are carried out, and, let me live 
or die, the institution will go on and on and will be handed 
down from generation to generation.' We did not see it then, 
but we have seen since that he was making his last report, 
telling you and me that the framework of this great structure 
had been completed, the mortises put together, and that there 
was nothing more to do but study the plans and specifications ; 
that the carpenters could continue to build the great structure 
which he had framed. When we are going to put up a great 
structure like this, Ave call before us the architect. This is to 
show us the place or the point where the pillars should be, and 
the architect points out the things necessary to make the 
building secure. He draws up the plans and then we seek the 
carpenters, who must understand the plans and specifications ; 
they take the plans and specifications and anything they fail 
to understand, they call the architect's attention to it and re- 
ceive the explanation. The architect sees that each joint is 
put in its place, and now the carpenters have nothing to do 
but follow the specifications. See our great architect — the 
great financial architect, one of the black sons of Ham, from 
the dark lands of the South, from Habersham, Ga., comes into 
the old State of Virginia and locates at the capital of the 
Confederacy. Here he gathered about him a few of the hum- 
ble people of the Eace, while the intelligent of the Race stood 
off, looked at the architect, and said, 'He is craz}^.' Why? He 

Chief, St. Louis, Mo, 


says to them, 'I can do more with four dollars and sixty cents, 
than you have ever done with ten dollars.' But the great men 
who were able to solve problems, divide fractions, and com- 
pute interest, stood off. He was an humble Negro, coming 
from the lowlands of Georgia, without a scholastic training. 
Who would receive him? None but the humble people. You 
know when our Saviour came into the world, He was con- 
ceived of the Virgin Mary, and came from the poor lands of 
Nazareth. The rich Pharisee and Sadducee and the great men 
of the country said, 'We cannot expect anything great from 
that poor countiy,' and therefore say the Jews until to-day, 
'The Saviour is yet to come.' Never mind about that. The 
Saviour has come into the world, died, and laid in the heart of 
the earth ; arose on the third clay, and says to you and to me, 
'Come unto me with all of your sins ? confess the same, and 
you shall have eternal life.' While the Jews are waiting for 
Him to come, we will accept Him and go on home to live with 
Him. Now, Eev. William Washington Browne was not a 
graduate, and I am glad and thank God for it. Why do I 
say it? One graduate of our Race represents one thousand that 
are not graduates, and had William W. Browne been a grad- 
uate, the great masses would have been left out. Let us see. 
When the Saviour came into the world, had He come in fine 
linen, the rich Pharisee and Sadducee and the elders of the 
people would have received Him as their guest, and when He 
would have sympathized with and lifted up the humble people, 
they would have criticized Him ; therefore Jesus came of hum- 
ble parents — came clown among the lowly and lifted them up 
to a higher standard. When they complained He asked, 
'Which of you, having one hundred sheep, and lose one, will 
not leave the ninety and nine and go and seek the lost one, and, 
when you find him, bring him home on your shoulders, calling 
your neighbors to rejoice with you that the lost sheep is found? 
There is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth 
than over ninety and nine that need no repentance.' 'I came 


not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.' 'They that 
are whole need not the physician, but they that are sick.' 

Now, William Washington Browne is very much to be 
compared in his coming to the rescue of this great Ethiopian 
Race to that of our Saviour. He came to old Virginia and to 
the capital of the Southern Confederacy, where once our 
mothers, fathers and children were separated and sold into 
slavery, and established the first Negro bank of this country 
on the ruins thereof. My friends, I believe that William 
Washington Browne was a financial Moses, God-sent to deliver 
Israel. I believe that God in His infinite wisdom looked down 
and heard the prayers of the old mothers and fathers, who 
prayed for financial strength, and sent one of the Race to de- 
liver them; and would be so ungrateful as to indulge in our 
minds one thought that would reflect against Browne? If 
Browne, though radical in his ways of ruling, has done more 
for the Negro than all other leaders, why should we cast such 
a reflection and say, 'We don't want any more Brownes.' Let 
us get a thousand Brownes. I feel that if we had a thousand 
Brownes we would have a thousand banks; if we had a thou- 
sand Brownes, we would have a million business men of the 
Race. I want to tell you to-day that I feel that I am one that 
Almighty God has left here to represent the great cause of 
suffering humanity. With an uplifted hand this morning, I 
am ready, like Paul of old, to be offered up as a sacrifice, and, 
if necessary, I am willing to follow in the foot tracks of Wil- 
liam Washington Browne, and to go down to my grave in de- 
fense of this great people." (Great applause.) 

"My brethren and sisters, this question brings to my mind a 
bit of history as connected with myself and William Wash- 
ington Browne. I want to say to you that when I joined the 
Order in 1885 it was not because I really desired to join it. 
I was like Paul of old ; I had nothing to do with secret socie- 
ties. I taught public school at Beaver Dam, Va., and preached 
for two small churches. This gave me a few clothes and some 
bread for my wife and children. I was at home with them, 



and must say, while the country churches did not pay me a 
big salary, they gave me plenty to eat, and my school a little 
money to get some clothes; but when William Washington 
Browne came to Beaver Dam 5 I learned that he was forced 
to do so by surrounding circumstances. He found himself in 

,,-r' : ' 


Chief, Florence, S. C. 

Chief, Providence, R. I. 

the city of Richmond where societies are numerous. He found 
the society hall doors shut against him; the church doors 
closed against him ; and he said, 'What shall I do V The spirit 
of old that spoke to Philip and told him to join himself to the 

GRAND FOUNTAIN, U. 0. T. R. 247 

chariot of the eunuch, told Browne to go to the rural districts. 
All the toney organizations of previous days did not care to 
go into the country for fear of getting their shoes muddy. 
William Washington Browne, following the dictates of the 
Holy Spirit, came to Beaver Dam, where he found Rev. C. H. 
Philips as pastor and your humble servant as school teacher. 
He opened the work there and proved to me how I could do 
more good for my Race than I could teaching school. When 
he convinced me I at once recommended one of the female 
members of mv church to take the school, and I took the field 
without one cent, and went to work for the True Reformers. 
My ministerial brethren met me in the different associations, 
and though I was one of the founders of the conventions, I 
was boycotted and put out of every position. What is the 
matter? He has forsaken the ministerial work for the True 
Reformers. They named me 'True Reformer Taylor.' When 
Rev. Anderson Taylor was called to the pastorate of Shiloh 
Baptist Church at Washington, I was then walking the streets 
and avenues of that city. Some thought that I was he, and 
the only way they designated the two was to call me 'True 
Reformer Taylor.' When Rev. Robert Johnson made a bolt 
in Washington and got out a charter to be known as the 
Free and Independent True Reformers, and Mrs. Emily Mon- 
roe was righting Rev. Robert Johnson, Mr. Browne sent me 
to help save the flag. I launched out to Alexandria, built a 
fortress around Washington, so that the Rev. Johnson could not 
get out of the city, but died there. I understand that he is 
down here to help defeat me for re-election, but I certainly 
want him to know that I assisted in defeating his plan to 
divide up the institution, and I did it in keeping with my 
obligation, and if he can influence you not to re-elect me, God 
bless you, I can live just the same. I was the man who saved 
the work in Washington. I must say that Washington does 
not know how to live in peace. The whole truth of Washing- 
ton is, she is composed of people from all over the country, 
and everybody in Washington wants to be boss. Mrs. Monroe, 


the Grand Worthy Mistress, who succeeded in downing the 
Free and Independent True Reformers, by the assistance of 
your humble servant, a few years later was superseded by Mrs. 
F. H. James. Mrs. Monroe got up in the presence of the 
Grand Fountain and announced her intentions to destroy the 
institution. She said, 'I have built it, and I will destroy it; 
you have cast me out on the dump pile, and I intend to tear it 
down.' This was the second time I had to go to Washington 
to fight a battle. I went to Washington, and I am glad to say 
that some of the best people of Washington, hearing my talk, 
said, 'Surely the True Reformers must be something.' Dr. 
R. W. Brown came in, and is a member of one of the Foun- 
tains that I made. I only refer to the professional men to show 
you the class of people that came in through my teaching in 
Washington. Hon. George M. Arnold, who was killed in 
Washington, came in; Mrs. Brown and other people of high 
rank came in. Washington helped to place me on the second 
round of the ladder, for when we went to Lynchburg, Wash- 
ington delegation, with one exception, voted solidly to make 
me Vice-Grand Master, upon the recommendation of the 
Grand Worthy Secretary. I believe in giving credit where 
it belongs. I did not know until recently that the Grand 
Worthy Secretary had the honor of recommending me. He 
referred to his copy-book and showed me a letter where he 
recommended me. I asked him if I had lived up to his recom- 
mendations. He said, 'Yes.' 'Then,' I said, 'you ought to 
recommend me for Grand Master.' What should give a man 
more gratification than to know that the one he has recom- 
mended has lived up to his recommendations? The Grand 
Worthy Master, in winding up his career, bore it out in words 
like these : 'Brethren, I expect to leave you when this Grand 
Fountain adjourns; I will not leave you without a guide; I 
have an old, true and tried war-horse, who never disobeyed an 
order, who has lived up to his obligations, and I will recom- 
mend him to take my place. I want you to make him respon- 
sible for the office, for I will not be. Will you accept him?' 

- ;:;-'; . 

(Church Hill) Richmond, Va. 


The delegates, without a dissenting voice, endorsed his recom- 
mendation. I say, brethren, when the word fell from Rev. 
Browne's lips, it struck me like a thunderbolt. When he said, 
'Taylor must take charge,' it was then that I felt my inability 
to fill so important a position; it was then that I quaked for 
fear. He had just told you that I never disobeyed an order, 
and to refuse to accept would be disobeying then. When you 
vote without a dissenting voice to take it, then I felt that I 
had your support, and with God's counsel and }"our support, 
I felt that I would be able to guide the old ship and bring her 
into harbor. I entered upon my duties. After working some 
time, our lamented Medical Director, Dr. S. H. Dismond, met 
me on the street and said, 'Taylor, you must go to bed; you 
are sick.' I took his advice, went to bed, and stayed there 
about ten days. I felt that there were some matters pertaining 
to the Old Folk's Homes on which I needed the counsel of the 
great general. I took the train on Saturday, went to Phila- 
delphia, and counseled Saturday night, in company with Chief 
E. T. Anderson, until a late hour, and left Sunday, when I 
returned to my post of duty. Everything moved on nicely; 
the officers gave me their support. Soon I was taken sick 
again. During that time the news came to me that Mr. 
Browne was in Washington and expected to pass away at any 
time. My prayer was: 'Lord, spare the man; spare me that 
we may greet each other with a handshake once more.' God 
heard my prayers, and in ten days I was in Washington. He 
said to me in words like these : 'Taylor, I am glad to see you ; 
I never expect to come to Richmond alive, but all is well. I 
am satisfied everything is fixed.' He went on to speak how he 
had provided for his family and how he had protected them 
in his will. He said: 'Taylor, I know you; you are a young 
man, a trained man, and a strong man.' Those are the last 
words he spoke to me about this Brotherhood. He stopped 
his wife, who was preparing dinner, and ordered Mr. J. H. 
Braxton to go on the avenue and order dinner, and invited me 
to eat with him. Mrs. Browne sat at one side and fed him, 


while I sat at one end of the table. This was the last meal 
that I ate with him. Friday morning I left for home. Tues- 
day morning he left for home. My home was in Richmond; 
his home was in heaven. He has left you and me as heirs of 
his estate. You and I are brothers and sisters; we cannot 
afford to butcher each other. Some are educated, and some 
are not; some are black and some are light; but we are all 
Browne's children. Browne has left one of his big sons in 
charge, and that is W. L. Taylor. He asked me to take charge 
until he came back, or until the next annual session. I have 
some bad little boys on the old ship. Of course, the boys don't 
know how dangerous it is to bore holes in the ship. When the 
hole is made, the water comes in. I, as the captain, asked the 
boys: 'What are you doing?' 'We are doing nothing.' 'What 
have you in your hand?' 'An auger.' I took the auger out 
of their hands. The boys got angry and threatened to kill 
me, but I am here to-day. I said to the bad boys: 'I don't be- 
lieve you mean any harm, but you are doing harm. I shall 
bring the old ship into the Grand Fountain on the 6th of Sep- 
tember and turn in an account of my stewardship, and I shall 
leave it to the Constitution to decide who is worthy from a 
meritorious standpoint, and leave it to an unbiased delegation 
to decide. I want to say that I have no axes to grind. Ninety- 
nine per cent, of all that has been said was not true. It has 
been said that I was cutting off the heads of those who would 
not vote for me. Bring the man or woman that can prove it, 
and I will give you one hundred dollars. When I cut a man 
it is because he has cut the law, and I put the law on him. 
When we take a stand for the law on some, and enforce it, it is 
all right, but on others, 'you must remember who I am.' I 
don't know any one. Every member swore with an uplifted 
hand that he would abide by the laws, rules, regulations and 
usages of this Order, 'and in violation of this my obligation, I 
am willing to be fined, expelled, or whatever my decree might 
be.' The Grand Worthy Master, with the Worthy Master, 
has taken his obligations that he will carry out this law, and, 



so help me God, I shall carry it out, if I see the gun pointing 
in my face. I call no name, and if any kick, you know they 
are the guilty ones. Now, all of you are my children until my 

successor is elected. 

Browne turned vou over to me, and the 

Dr. S. G. JONES. 

Of Fountain No. 99. The first woman physician to pass a Medical 

Board in Virginia, Richmond, Va. 

Grand Fountain confirmed it. You are my children, whether 
you own me or not. My friends, we cannot afford to fight; 
too much has been said about the destiny of this institution. 
It has been prophesied that when Browne died the institution 


would die. It behooves us to lay aside personal differences, 
lay aside selfish aggrandizement, and build this great work. 
Don't you know, members of the Order and those who are not, 
have taken the True Reformers as a street talk, n? a church 
talk, and as a store talk. Some men outside of the Order 
have gone so far as to tell me that there is a deep-laid con- 
spiracy in the cities of Richmond and Washington to swear 
out a false warrant against me and have me arrested, so as to 
implicate me with something that I may be stigmatized, so 
that the delegation may lose confidence in me and not vote 
for me. I have also gotten letters from Washington on the 
same thing. I do not know that it is true, but this is what was 
reported to me, and I feel that it is my duty to tell you, since 
you are the Masters and Mistresses. If such be true, adjourn 
the Grand Fountain and go with me down to the City Hall, 
and if God has put it into your minds to vote for me, bail me 
out, bring me back, and elect me. Mr. Browne always said 
that an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure. The 
Scripture says: 'If the good man of the house had known what 
hour the thief would have entered, he would have barred the 
doors.' You put me at the head of this institution to bring it 
into the port. We are right at the harbor and have let down 
the sails, but we have not anchored. I feel that if I do not tell 
you about the dynamite, it might blow up the ship of True 
Reformerism, like the Spanish mine blew up the Maine. I 
want to say further, that I can come very near accounting for 
every cent of money that has come through my hands for 
fourteen years. William Washington Browne was a very 
scrutinizing man. He passed upon all of my reports up to the 
seventeenth annual session, and he O. K.'d them all. Since 
that time, like him, I have had to pass upon my own reports. 

"So, as far as the Grand Master is concerned, I cannot dic- 
tate. I am only to give an account of my stewardship, show 
you my conduct, and then leave it to you to say whether I have 
done well or not. If I have done well, it is courtesy to say 
come up higher, and if I have not done well, it is your duty 


to say step down. It has been said that I was incompetent, 
but I shall leave it to you to judge whether I am incompetent 
or not. Is it not a fact that when the head of the family dies, 
then it is that the times are hardest? When William Wash- 
ington Browne left the office, then it was that you needed 
a strong man. I have held it, although the newspapers were 
firing shots concerning the Old Folk's Home. Your humble 
servant was good enough then, but as soon as Mr. Browne died 
he got ignorant. Your humble servant is willing to measure 
his conduct, his record, his merit, from start to finish, with 
that of any other man. * 

"I hope that each of you will consider this well and think 
for a moment that upon this eighteenth annual session of the 
Grand Fountain depends, in a great measure, the future of this 
institution. We are right at the brink, and if we make a mis- 
step, we will go down into the gulf, never to rise again. Let 
us be men and women. Don't let a few smiles or dollars 
change us. But I want every man and woman, who has the 
Order at heart and who is willing to contend for the faith 
first delivered to the saints, to stand still until the light of the 
Bible shall shine upon our pathway, that we make no mis- 

Rev. Carpenter, who delivered the welcome address, spoke 
as follows: 

"Mr. President and Grand Master of the Grand Fountain, 
U. O. T. /?., Officers and I) eh- nates from the Several 
Fountains of tli'' Grand Fountain: 

"I welcome you to our eighteenth annual session. I welcome 
you to 01 ir hearts, the hospitality of our homes, and lastly, to 
our City of Seven Hills, like ancient Rome, noted for her his- 
torical landmarks. Again, we welcome you to Richmond, the 
capital of the once Southern Confederacy, the place from 
which the slavery of our people emanated. But I am proud 
of the fact that the boys who wore the gray, and took arms 
against the boys in blue, are united to-day, under the 'Stars 





































and Stripes,' in one common cause against a foreign foe. And 
General Lee and General Wheeler, who led armies against the 
Union, are leading an army to perpetuate and protect our 
noble country; and we are here to-day, sitting under our own 
vine and fig tree, daring any to molest or make us afraid. 
For this we should be thankful to Almighty God; and to 
prove this, we must act it in our deliberations while here as- 
sembled. It gives me great pleasure to stand before you in 
this, the greatest, the most solemn and important session of 
this, our noble Brotherhood, unlike any we have had in the 
eighteen years of our existence. For seventeen years the. gavel 
has rapped to call this great body to order in the hand of him 
whom we all loved, honored and obeyed; we loved him as a 
leader ; we loved him as a father. As a leader, we looked up to 
him as our teacher and our guide. In the language of the 
prophet of old, when prophesying of Christ, we can say in 
similar words, 'Unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given.' 
"He was a wonderful counsellor, a prince of finance; like 
his Saviour, he was born of a lowly and humble birth, emerged 
out of obscurity; not blessed with a scholastic training; but 
being endowed with certain God-given qualities and ability, 
which enabled him to climb the ladder of fame and progress 
until he battered down the walls of misconfidence, superstition, 
ignorance and poverty. Having done this, he successfully led 
us in the green fields of finance. It has been rightfully said, 
we should not come up to this session divided simply to satisfy 
self, but we should come to memorialize his life and character 
by carrying out the Constitution, by-laws, rules and usages of 
our noble Order. We should show our appreciation and love 
for him, though dead, by honoring and loving that which he 
loved. Let us be true to our trust, and prove to the world 
that we are worthy of the responsibilities that have been 
placed upon our shoulders, and, doing this, I believe that God 
will smile and pour out His blessings upon us. Then we will 
be able to say, like David of old, 'Behold, how good and how 
pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.' As our 


beloved Browne used to say, 'Our motto is Love, Truth and 
Mercy; our weapon is Wisdom, Brain and Finance, In union 
there is strength; but divided w T e must ever fall.' It was union 
that laid the foundation, it was union that brought us together, 
it was union that has held us together, and love has cemented 
us in one strong cord. My friends, let me persuade you to-day, 
never let any man or set of men take your crown, for it did not 
take big speeches and big names to build this Organization, but 
it took hard study, toil, sweat, deprivations, sacrifices, hunger, 
nakedness, and even life, to build this great union — the greatest 
among Negroes. Then, let me say to you, in the language of 
the Apostle Paul, 'Stand fast in the liberty wherewith God 
has made you free.' Stand as free men, stand as true men and 
women; let us stand upon that foundation which our sainted 
hero left. For seventeen years our ship of True Ref ormerism 
has launched out from the shore on the bosom of the business 
world, under the management of our fallen captain and hero, 
Rev. W. W. Browne, and she has returned this year with the 
greatest success, notwithstanding she met with hard winds and 
storms, which seemingly would have sunk her to the bottom 
of the sea ; but, under the guidance of Almighty God and the 
wise and vigilant management of our fallen chieftain, she 
has always made the harbor with thousands of souls and 
dollars on board, until her fame has spread from the rock- 
bound coast of Maine to the stormy shores of the Gulf of 
Mexico, and from the stormy coast of the Atlantic to the 
peaceful shores of the Pacific. But, this eighteenth year of her 
birth has been one of many vicissitudes, of sad and mournful 
strains on account of the loss of our faithful pilot, Rev. W. W. 
Browne. At our seventeenth annual session, it seems like the 
Lord of battle moved upon our fallen hero to place his mantle 
upon Rev. W. L. Taylor, our Joshua and leader. Many were 
the fears and prophecies about the future success of our noble 
institution under the leadership of our new captain, and his 
ability to manage so large an institution as this. But, with an 
indomitable will and an undaunted courage, he has brought us 


safely into the harbor with the most unprecedented success. 
Many have been his hindrances. He has had to fight enemies 
within and foes without, too numerous to mention. But these 
only served to develop him into a man and a leader of which 
we are not ashamed. Rev. William L. Taylor, without a 


Assistant Chief, Baltimore, Md 

shadow of a doubt, has exceeded the expectations of many. 
But all of this goes to prove that God always had His man 
for every station in life, and will clothe him with the ability 
and power to carry forth His work, spiritually or temporally. 


When Moses fell he raised up a Joshua ; when Christ ascended 
and left His church, he appointed a common fisherman in the 
person of Peter ; when He wanted to redeem the people of the 
country from under the yoke of the British government, He 
raised up a George Washington; when He wanted to break 
the shackles of slavery from four million slaves, He raised up 
a backwoodsman in the person of Abraham Lincoln; when 
He wanted a general to lead the forces of the Union army to 
victory, He raised up U. S. Grant, a tanner ; when He wanted 
a leader to succeed Rev. W. W. Browne, He raised up Rev. 
W. L. Taylor. And now, Mr. President and Grand Worthy 
Master of the Grand Fountain, U. O. T. R., whether this 
august body sees fit to re-elect you or not, to the position of 
President and Grand Worthy Master, in your expiring mo- 
ments of this life you can lie on your couch and draw your 
mantle about you, and close your eyes in peaceful sleep, with 
the satisfaction to yourself and to this noble Brotherhood that 
you filled your position like a man and a true leader; and 
when you are laid away in yon cemetery, like your sainted 
predecessor, we shall honor and reverence your name as a man 
of courage, pluck and ability, true and loyal to the core. To 
the members of this noble body, especially our noble and gen- 
erous-hearted women, let me say, remember the old adage, 
'Never swap the old for the new, when you find them just and 
true.' Allow me to say to you to-day, that the eyes of the 
world are upon you ; one step in the wrong direction will settle 
our doom, and our doom means the destruction of our Race 
for the next fifty years. There are listening ears and anxious 
hearts all over this country waiting to hear the results, for 
this is the only thing that we can point to with pride, the 
first time the Negro of this country has made a success as a 
financier. Allow me to say further, that I have too much con- 
fidence in the judgment and ability of this noble Brotherhood 
to believe that they would prove disloyal to the plans and 
wishes of that man who was the greatest benefactor of the 
Negro Race. When we parted last September, each to his 


own field of labor, we promised to meet at this place and com- 
pare notes. Some of you have done well, and some not as 
well as you might have desired ; but if you have done all that 
you could, you have done well, and should feel encouraged to 
do more, for the race is not given to the swift, nor the battle 
to the strong, but to him that holds out and proves faithful to 
the end. Our old ship of True Keformerism has stood storms 
of the most severe test for eighteen years, and has anchored 
us safely in the harbor of financial success, and stands to-day 
as a monument of the Negro's ability to grapple with the 
great question of finance. 

"Dear friends, in view of the above facts, allow me to wel- 
come you to the most unprecedented success of our noble in- 
stitution for the past twelve months. Notwithstanding the 
country has been stirred from North to South and from East 
to West, and the proud American blood has been at a fever 
heat on the account of having been drawn into war with Spain, 
which has served to hinder business and to embarrass the finan- 
cial progress of our country, this, the Grand Fountain to-day, 
with sails set and banner unfurled, a matchless lion of finance 
on the seas of the business world, makes its way onward. Let 
us see if this be a fact. 

"The Subordinate Fountains have paid since our last meet- 
ing, on the account of deaths, thirty-six thousand and forty- 
nine dollars and forty-seven cents. The Rosebuds have paid 
on deaths, nine hundred and nine dollars and fifty-five cents. 
The Class departments, B and E, have paid on deaths, sixteen 
thousand and four hundred dollars. The Bank, the safe deposi- 
tory of the Brotherhood, with the real estate coupled thereto 
as surety, pays a dividend of twenty per cent, on the dollar 
for every share of stock owned. We have paid this year in 
dividends to stockholders, twelve thousand six hundred and 
thirty-one dollars and fifty cents. The other departments have 
followed suit. 

"Lastly, let me welcome you to the Constitution of our 
Order; let us see that it is carried out to the letter and spirit, 

„. m Jgi 


■ Nlc «o LA 



K.U *- / 

Mr. P. P. Nicholas, Clifton Forge, Va. Mr. Cyrus Caldwell, Greensboro, N. C. 

Mr. John A. Rooks, Portsmouth, Va. 

Mr. J. J. Parker, Staunton, Va. Mr. S. H. Jackson, Harrisonburg, Va. 

Mr. W. H. Anderson, Prospect, Va. 


especially the meritorious system, which teaches us to reward 
every man according to his works. This done, we will honor 
God, honor our fallen hero, and crown ourselves; and the news 
will fly over the wires of our country, though Browne is dead, 
yet the men and women left in charge are worthy of the trust 
imposed upon them." 

Response to the welcome address, by Rev. E. T. Anderson, 
Chief of Philadelphia, Pa., Division: 

"Grand Worthy Master, Officers^ Delegates and Visitors to the 
Grand Fountain, II. 0. T. /?., assembled at Richmond, 

"I think myself highly honored to have been chosen to re- 
spond to this most hearty and eloquent address delivered to 
us on this most auspicious occasion. I think that every True 
Reformer knows well what an old First Family of Virginia 
welcome address means, where it comes from, for it comes 
from heart and goes to the table. We have convened in the 
Old Dominion from the frigid zone on the North to the torrid 
zone on the South, from the surging billows of the Atlantic 
on the East and from the calm waves of the Lakes on the 
West, to partake of your generosity, liberality and hospital- 
ity. Since you have bidden and we have responded, I do be- 
speak for my constituency the best of order while in your 
city, the highest regard for the chair, and the most profound 
thought in their deliberations; and at your tables, they are to 
do their best. We True Reformers do not live to eat, but only 
eat that we may live, for we have a grander aim and a more 
noble purpose in responding to your most hearty welcome. 

"Grand Worthy Master, Officers and Delegates of the eigh- 
teenth annual session of the Grand Fountain, U. O. T. R., 
without any flattery on my part, I do assert that you are the 
representatives of one of the greatest institutions known to 
the world, and you have been honored to hold the oracles of 
this wonderful Organization in one of the most important 
sessions that has ever marked the annals of her history. True 


Keformers, the destiny of this Organization hinges upon the 
action of this hour; therefore let me beseech you to be cool- 
headed, warm-hearted and deliberate in all of your business. 
By doing this, you will stop the mouths of the gainsayers, lock 
the jaws of the lion, and thus prove to the world that the same 
God who brought forth our venerable founder, counsellor, 
leader and financier out of the mountains of Habersham, Ga., 
and commissioned him to go forward, onward, and upward, 
saying to him, follow where I lead — that God is able to raise 
up other men and women who can and will govern and be 
governed, rule and be ruled, honor and be honored, at the 
bidding of Him who holds the destiny of all men in His hand, 
and carries their life for years like a taper in the midst of 
winds and storms ; men are made to honor and obey His man- 
dates. At His bidding the renowned founder, leader and 
financier of the nation stepped forward, grasped the helm of 
the ship and guided her through the stormy waves of discour- 
agement, perplexities, hardships and confusions. With an 
unshaken confidence in the final triumph of his wonderful 
plans, when the sound of the bugle was heard throughout the 
Brotherhood, and the music murmured, 'The seventeenth an- 
nual session,' the great conquering hero of the financial world 
piloted the old ship into the harbor, freighted down with sev- 
enteen 3 7 ears of unparalleled success. The diseased, smitten 
veteran waves the gavel over that vast assembly his last time, 
and then passed it over to Eev. W. L. Taylor, and looked as 
though he were standing on the brink of an unclouded glory, 
and cries out, so to speak, 'I have reached the land of corn 
and wine, and all its riches freely mine ; here shines undimmed 
one blissful day, for all my night has passed away.' Eev. 
W. L. Taylor, with a trembling hand, grasped the gavel, mar- 
shaled the forces, and, with the assistance of that God who 
rules the destiny of all men, has brought the old ship into the 
haven of the eighteenth annual session, laden as before with 
the cargo of about one hundred new Fountains. Some said 
that the old ship was going clown. I want to tell you this; 



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there was a ship once off the Galveston coast on its way to New 
Hampshire, laden with souls; there was great confusion on 
board; all thought that the old ship was going down except 
one lady. She was perfectly calm. She asked, 'Where is the 
captain?' 'He is on deck.' 'Where is the engineer?' 'He is 
running her.' 'Where is the pilot?' 'He is guiding her.' 
'Then,' said she, 'we are safe.' Then I ask, Where is Taylor? 
Where is Burrell ? Where is Hill ? Taylor is on deck looking 
after her ; Burrell is guiding her, and R. T. Hill is in the finan- 
cial department holding on to the money; then I say, Let 
her go. 

"This is an age of union; union of thought, union of pur- 
pose, union of action, and union of finance. There was a time 
in history when men brutalized each, other for fame and 
wealth; but civilization, refinement and religion have taught 
them better. The white man of this country has been listening 
to us with great care. This is an electric age. The white man 
of this country has grappled with the lightning. He said to 
the street car driver, 'Loosen those horses.' This was done, and 
they invented the electric cars and said to the motorman, 
'Now let her go,' and now they are carrying thousands over 
their lines. 

"Now, touching upon the question of the day as to who shall 
be our next Grand Worthy Master, I have never given my 
decision in public. Brother Burrell is the only man I have 
expressed myself to; I told him about this thing soon after 
the death of the Grand Worthy Master. Brother R. T. Hill 
is a good man, a Christian gentleman, a born teller, as well as 
a trained banker. He has received and remitted your money 
for many long years, and you cannot find aught against him. 
In his letter last week, in answer to Rev. Wells, he said that 
he would give so many hours to the Bank each day. The 
President of this institution cannot always sleep in his own 
bed ; he cannot always eat at his own table, for he must go on 
the field some, too. Then how could Brother Hill give two 
or three hours each day to the Bank if he were in Boston or if 


he were in Philadelphia? I don't blame Brother Hill for 
wanting the position of President, since that position is the 
highest in the gift of the Brotherhood. I have been getting 
papers since this thing has been up, and I just threw them in 
the waste-basket, for I don't allow any one to influence me. 
I tell you now, when you come around Philadelphia you had 
better see Anderson first. We are Quakers up there, and we 
don't talk very much ; we talk witK our money. Last year we 
sold ninety-five shares of stock. At the close of this fiscal year 
we had sold two hundred and ninety-five shares of stock. 

"Then, True Reformers, I say to you to-night, 'Let your 
lower lights be burning, send the gleam across the wave; for 
some poor, struggling True Reformer, you may rescue, you 
may save.' " 


There were added to the Organization in these two years 
nine thousand seven hundred and fifty-seven new members in 
the Fountains; one thousand seven hundred and sixty new 
members in the Rosebud ; seven hundred and thirty-three new 
members in Class E, and one thousand and fifty-seven new 
members in Class B, making a total of thirteen thousand six 
hundred and seventy-three new members. By act of the Grand 
session of 1896, Aveak Fountains were encouraged to unite with 
stronger Fountains and transfer the members. Many Foun- 
tains availed themselves of this convenience and economized 
by transferring to other Fountains. The committee on Rose- 
buds, September, 1807, recommended that a Rosebud Council 
(Union Rosebud Board) be organized in each Division, consist- 
ing of the Rosebud Board of Managers and other good work- 
ers among the children, holding their meetings once a month 
for the purpose of exchanging views and reporting the general 
conditions of the Rosebuds. 

The Bank received on deposits, six hundred and sixty-four 
thousand five hundred and forty-two dollars and twenty cents, 
and disbursed six hundred and forty-five thousand three hun- 
dred and three dollars and thirteen cents, doing a business of 



three million seven hundred and ninety-six thousand six hun- 
dred and sixty-seven dollars and thirty-six cents, leaving a 
cash balance of thirty-four thousand two hundred and fifty- 
seven dollars and two cents. 

At the close of this period the Organization owned twelve 
halls, three farms, one hotel, two dwellings and three vacant 
lots, the estimated value of which was one hundred and sev- 
enteen thousand five hundred dollars. 

Chief Northern New Jersey, Newark, N.J. 

Chief, Lynchburg, Va. 

The answer to the oft-repeated question, 'When will you build 
your first home for the old folks?' came in 1897. A short dis- 
tance from Richmond, there was a farm containing six hun- 
dred and thirty- four and one-quarter acres, well adapted for 
the purpose, having splendid water facilities, a pump, well, 
several springs, creeks, canal and river; excellent transporta- 
tion facilities, county road passing through and railroad like- 
wise; rich soil, well cultivated, with crops standing, and good 
woodland; with good location, having three prominent rises, 
giving splendid views of heavy lowlands and water courses; 


five ice ponds, two ice houses, stable, barns, and all appurte- 
nances for model farming, and with splendid dwelling thereon. 
It was purchased for fourteen thousand four hundred dollars 
— one-fourth cash and balance one and two years. The West- 
ham farm is one of the greatest acquisitions the department 
ever made. On Friday, September 10, 1897, and on Saturday, 
September 10, 1898, the Grand Fountain, in a body, visited 
the farm. Much interest had been awakened throughout the 
country by the friends of the old folk, and, in consequence, 
three thousand seven hundred and sixty-one dollars and sev- 
enty-eight cents had been raised during 1898 for this charity, 
making a total of eleven thousand and sixty-nine dollars and 
sixty-seven cents raised to date. The Grand Fountain also 
paid to Mrs. M. A. Browne all of the money advanced by the 
Rev. Browne during his time for the purchase of this prop- 

A charter for the Home was obtained in August, 1898, mak- 
ing it a separate corporation. This divorce was necessary on 
account of the charter of the Grand Fountain being inade- 
quate to the purpose, and having a separate charter was less 
trouble and more effective. This charter was granted with a 
capital stock of twenty-five thousand dollars, which was nomi- 
nal only, with the privilege of owning two hundred thousand 
dollars' worth of property. The committee which the Grand 
Fountain appointed, and which so admirably executed the 
commission given them, to make arrangements for the Old 
Folk's Homes, and to take general supervision, was composed 
of Rev. W. L. Taylor, W. P. Burrell, R. T. Hill, John H. 
Braxton, A. W. Truehart, E. W. Brown and R. F. Robinson. 

Rev. J. T. Carpenter was appointed Business Manager of 
The Reformer on March 1, 1897, by W. W. Browne, Grand 
Worthy Master, and Mr. E. W. Brown was appointed Editor 
on May 21st of the same year. Messrs. R. J. Kyles and Ed- 
ward Ellis, Jr., were made Local Editors. With this staff the 
paper took on new life. The subscriptions numbered four 
thousand six hundred and thirty-three, and the income was 


one thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight dollars and 
sixty-six cents for the year 1897, and in 1898 the subscriptions 
reached five thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven, and 
the income two thousand one hundred and thirty-nine dollars 
and twenty-four cents. For the first time in the history of the 
paper there was a balance above expenses — seven hundred and 
seven dollars and seventy-six cents. 

In 1897 the Grand Fountain made the last payment of two 
thousand dollars and interest to the late Grand Worthy Mas- 
ter, W. W. Browne, on the purchase of the Regalia depart- 
ment. A receipt in full was given for said amount by him. 
The amount received by the Regalia department over and 
above purchase price, from 1893 to 1897, was eight thousand 
eight hundred and eighty-seven dollars and thirty-six cents. 

Agreeable to the order of the annual session, September, 
1896, five thousand dollars was paid to W. W. Browne as the 
first installment on the purchase of the "Plans" of the Grand 
Fountain. This payment was made in obedience to the spe- 
cial order of the annual session and charged to the account of 
the General fund. No papers changed hands, more than the 
written order of the President to the Grand Worthy Secre- 
tary to write the check. Rev. W. W. Browne stated that he 
would turn over all papers necessary at the seventeenth an- 
nual session. But the General fund not being sufficient in 
1898 to pay the five thousand dollars due on the "Plans" of the 
late Grand Worthy Master, the committee negotiated with 
Mrs. M. A. Browne to secure same by giving a note, payable 
as the means from the General fund would justify, and paid 
her two hundred and fifty dollars on the same. It was ac- 
cepted by Mrs. Browne as satisfactory, with the understanding 
that the notes be paid as fast as practicable, so as not to inter- 
fere with the running machinery of the institution. 


This quotation shows not so much the lack of sympathy and 
heartlessness of subjects, as it is proof of the commendable 

Mr.|J. A. Pettigrew, Lexington, Va. Mr. J. H. Hunnicutt, Emporia. Va. 

Mr. Saint Jones, Harrisonburg, Va. 
Mr. J. S. Settle, Charleston, W. Va. Mr. W. H. Davis, Smithfield. W. Va. 


elasticity of the human heart, swinging from grief on account 
of the loss of a ruler to congratulation with the successor. In- 
stead of expending a nation's energies in useless grief, it is far 
better to let the emotions take the form of rejoicing that God 
has given so worthy a successor. 

We pass over, for many reasons, the campaign for the elec- 
tion of the successor to the lamented Rev. W. W. Browne; 
but those who were present at the Grand session of 1898 re- 
member that it was a spirited canvass, a sharp conflict, and a 
decisive victory for Rev. W. L. Taylor. The proceedings were 
as follows: 

Lawyer J. C. Robertson nominated Rev. W. L. Taylor for 
Grand Worthy Master and President in the following strong 
speech : 

"Grand Worthy Master, Officers and Delegates of the Grand 
Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, in its eigh- 
teenth annual session assembled, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

"We come to this hour peculiarly sensible of the great re- 
sponsibility which it brings to us, and of the intense anxiety 
which it kindles in the hearts of thousands of men, women 
and children throughout the length and breadth of our great 
country. We come also with deep conviction of the vital im- 
portance of our deliberations, and we feel in this supreme 
moment that the destiny of this our noble Brotherhood hangs 
trembling in our hands, and that upon our calm and judicious 
deliberations depend the weal or woe, prosperity or adversity 
of the greatest Negro Organization to-day known to civiliza- 
tion. Here I see assembled in this most beautiful circle dedi- 
cated to Unity, Temperance and Charity, more than six hun- 
dred delegates, with earnest and enthusiastic faces, waiting to 
cast their votes for the choice of the forty thousand whom 
they represent. This great institution has completed its eigh- 
teen years of glorious existence, and the Brotherhood sends us 
here to prepare it for another lustrum of victory and success. 
Shall we faithfully execute the trust reposed in us as dele- 


gates to this eighteenth annual session by our constituents, or 
shall we prove recreant or dismal to that honored and sacred 
trust ? Before answering this by our vote, we should lay aside 
all malice on account of personal dislikes; all prejudice on 
account of reputed ignorance; all jealousy on account of sec- 
tional feelings, and all envy on account of merited success. 
When this shall have been done, we will unite in one common 
interest and with one index finger point to him who has been 
the central figure in this institution for the past twelve months 
as the mariner's compass points to the north star. 

"Brethren and sisters of the eighteenth annual session, we 
remember with regret that on the 21st day of December, 1897, 
the office of the Grand Worthy Master was made vacant by 
the death of our beloved and honored Grand Worthy Master 
and President, the late Rev. W. W. Browne. On that day, 
which shall long be remembered by the members and friends 
of this noble institution, the golden bowl of his earthly exist- 
ence was broken and the silver cord which united him to this 
life was loosed. Having accomplished his mission on earth as 
an organizer and leader, financer and disciplinarian of rare 
and marked ability, he took his wonderful achievements for 
his couch and laid down to a calm and peaceful rest. 

'Where storm, nor wreck, nor winter's blight, 

Nor death's remorseless doom, 
Shall dim one day of holy light, 

That gilds his glorious tomb.' 

"The vacancy just mentioned is to be filled by this body, and 
I note with great pleasure that you have not come here for 
the purpose of choosing a man for Grand Worthy Master and 
President, for that has already been done by the forty thou- 
sand eager and loyal True Reformers whom you represent, 
and it is only left to you as a source of pleasure and gratifica- 
tion to vote for him. Thousands of souls inspired by their 
devotion and zeal for the Brotherhood, with full knowledge of 

Git AND FOUNTAIN, U. O. T. it. 


its history of the past, and with ardent hopes for its future, 
have already conjectured the results of our deliberations. Take 
heed. Be not deceived. For, as Napoleon said to his soldiers 
while drawn up near the base of the great pyramid, 'Eemem- 


' ■■;■■■■ ■■ 


Mr. M. T. BAILEY. 

Chief, Chicago, 111. 

ber, soldiers, from yon heights forty centuries look down upon 
you and contemplate your actions.' So I would remind you 
that forty thousand men, women and children of this Brother- 


hood are to-day anxiously and silently awaiting your delibera- 
tions, and all breathlessly contemplating your actions. Let us 
show by our vote here to-day that we are determined to put 
down, now and always, the sentiment of strife, discord and 
dissension, and are fixed in our purpose to perpetuate this in- 
stitution and to carry out the will and instructions of our la- 
mented dead. I am about to present for your consideration 
the name of a gentleman of sterling worth, inimitable integrity 
and unimpeachable character. One who has never betrayed a 
trust, disobeyed an order, or violated a principle of our Con- 
stitution. One who, standing at the head of our noble Order, 
sees all of the achievements of its past, carries in his heart the 
memory of its glorious deeds, and, looking forward to the 
future, prepares it to meet the emergencies which are destined 
to arise. One who, when called from the field to the executive 
chair, displayed that firmness and poise of character, expe- 
rience and wisdom which were necessary to carry this institu- 
tion through a most successful period, bringing us to this, the 
Grand Fountain, with a great work accomplished, having 
added one hundred and sixteen Senior Fountains, twenty-six 
Rosebuds, seven or eight hundred members to the Classes, and 
seven- thousand persons to the Order. The success of his admin- 
istration is without a parallel in the history of the Brother- 
hood. His name has become the household word of every fire- 
side and is upon the lips of every child. The man to whom I 
refer is the Rev. W. L. Taylor. I put in nomination for 
Grand AYorthy Master and President of this institution Rev. 
W. L. Taylor." (Prolonged applause.) 

The motion was seconded by Mr. D. F. Batts, who made 
some remarks, as follows: 


"Genemenetha came to the Indian tribe when they were 
fighting among themselves; he went upon the mountain and 
took with him his peace pipe, and as he smoked the smoke fell 
on the base of the mountain and the Indians fell upon their 



faces silently listening to what he had to say. He addressed 
them as follows: 'Why are you fighting among yourselves? 
Why is it that you have this confusion and this strife ? Re- 
member that your strength is in your union, and your danger 
in your discord ; therefore be at peace with each other. I have 
given you the woods to hunt in, the rivers to fish in; I have 
filled the marshes with wild fowl ; then why do you hunt each 
other? I have given you roe and reindeer, brant and beaver.' 
I add, these are words of wisdom, and they come to you with 
no ordinary authority. If you will listen to them, you will 
multiply and prosper ; but if you pass them by unheeded, you 
will faint away and die. Go down to the river before you and 
wash the war paint from your faces, and the blood stains from 
your fingers, bury the tomahawk with the handle out of sight, 
and smoke the peace pipe of True Reformerism with the cala- 
mint of brotherly love therein." 

On motion, the nomination was closed. 

Rev. W. L. Taylor : "All in favor of the present incumbent 
will stand." 

Rev. Taylor was elected — six hundred and fifteen ayes and 
twenty -five nays. 

On motion, the time was extended fifteen minutes. 

Rev. I. L. Thomas : "I desire to state to this Grand Foun- 
tain that since the vote has been taken, that the Grand Foun- 
tain stick solidly to the man who has been elected Grand 
Worthy Master and President of this institution. I desire to 
make a request of the delegates here assembled. Let us be 
calm ; let us remember that we must be true to each other and 
true to the support of this Grand Fountain ; let us not hiss at 
any because they didn't agree with us ; let us respect the feel- 
ings of all in this meeting. I say to you as you go from this 
Grand Fountain, although we have had cause to differ from 
each other, let us, for the sake of humanity, rejoice and strive 
to carry on this great work. Let us do everything that we can 
for -this institution, that it may live; let us pray that this 


CO r* 

CO ™ 







































meeting may do great good, and that by the help of God we 
may go ahead with this great work." 

Rev. W. L. Taylor: "Rev. Thomas struck the keynote; let 
this be a great meeting; let us move in harmony and peace. 
It has been rumored that I was going to cut off the heads of 
those who did not vote for me. I won't have very many heads 
to cut off, will I ? For out of six hundred and forty delegates, 
only twenty-five voted against me. I have been very much 
surprised at this session, because you have given me such an 
overwhelming majority. Allow me to thank the eighteenth 
annual session for the great confidence that you have in me, 
and I shall do my best to carry forward the work that you 
have left in my charge. I am glad that those resolutions were 
offered. I want to say this : I respect Mr. Hill from the very 
depths of my soul ; if there were ever a man that I love, it is 
Mr. Hill. I love him because I believe that he is a Christian 
gentleman. I shall never forget Mr. Hill's mother, Ellen 
Freeman, for she was the one that took care of me, my wife 
and child, that was then ten months old, when I came here to 
go to school. It was his mother that took care of us until my 
wife could get a service place. I tell this now, but I have 
never told it before. I shall never forget Sister Ellen Free- 

Dr. W. K. Scott made some remarks, in which he said that 
he had done all he could to prevent the election of Rev. Tay- 
lor. "But now," said he, "Grand Worthy Master, since you 
have been elected, I pledge you my support, and move you 
that your election be made unanimous." 

The motion was seconded and put by W. P. Burrell, Grand 
Worthy Secretary. 

W. P. Burrell : "Grand Worthy Master and President, al- 
though, like others, I have clone all that I could to prevent 
your election to this most honorable position, yet I esteem it 
one of the pleasant opportunities of my life to second the mo- 
tion of Dr. W. K. Scott to make your election unanimous, as I 
feel that we are no more twain, but one, and from now on I 


shall ao what I can to make your administration a success. I 
trust that it will be the pleasure of every one present to vote 
to make your election unanimous, and all of us go on in one 
solid band. When I met you at Beaver Dam thirteen years 
ago and afterwards recommended you to the Grand Master, 
I did not know that I was assisting the future President of 
this Organization. 

"Now, those who are in favor of making the election unani- 
mous will please stand. 

"Mr. President, you can see that } t ou will have our support 
with the same zeal that we opposed you, and it is with pleas- 
ure that I present to you this gavel, hoping that you will rule 
well and that the hatchet buried to-day will never be dug up." 

The following preamble and resolution was adopted by a 
vote of five hundred to twenty-seven on Friday night, Sep- 
tember 9, 1898, by the Grand Fountain, offered by Mr. C. A. 
Puryear, Deputy-General of the Southern Grand Division : 

"Whereas, yearly election of the Grand Worthy Master and 
President tends to breed confusion and cause division in the 
Order, thereby marring the peace and prosperity of the Order; 
therefore, be it 

"Resolved, That the term of office of the Grand Worthy 
Master and President shall be four years, subject to re-elec- 
tion, with power to reprimand, fine or dismiss any employe 
within the gift of the Brotherhood, for neglect of duty, viola- 
tion of obligation, rules, regulations and usages of the Order, 
subject to the approval of the Board of Directors of the Grand 
Fountain. All other officers shall be appointed and elected an- 
nually on merit and ability only. All laws, acts and parts of 
laws in conflict herewith are hereby repealed. This law shall 
be in force from its passage." 

The passage of the above resolution was, on motion, made 

On September 7, 1898, a memorial service was held in mem- 
ory of Rev. W. W. Browne, at which time addresses were de- 



livered by Rev. G. T. Davage and several brethren, from 
which the following extracts are taken : 

Rev. Davage : "A prince and a great man has fallen. Great 
by virtue of no racial distinction, but by virtue of his being a 
man, for, black or white, 'a man's a man for a' that'; by virtue 
of his bearing the stamp of the invisible God, who spoke in 
the bosom of the Trinity, saying, 'Let us make man in our 
own image.' I speak not of accidental distinction, which sets 


G. W. A. Guide 1891, Petersburg, Va. 

Director 1888, Washington, D. C. 

off one race from another; which a man may lose and still 
be a man; and that are mere husks upon which the vulgar 
mind will ever feed; but I speak of the apprehensive intel- 
lect, the pliable and determined will, and the God-like under- 
standing. TKey who grow great by reason of their tireless 
efforts and persistent, assiduous energy, which holds out 
against all the odds of life, standing as like the pillars of Her- 
cules, to defy and crush, have the power of an endless life and 


strength of the 'Immortal Gods.' Among that number stood 
the prince and great man — Rev. W. W. Browne, the subject 
of our consideration and the worthy object for the emulation 
of unborn millions. He was a Negro of the truest and purest 
t} r pe. He was simply and purely a genuine Negro. Nor did 
he seek to hew out for himself, as some have done, a path 
midway between the two Races, in order that he might avoid 
the one and lose himself in the other. His noble spirit rose 
above such base designs. This accidental distinction, imposed 
by Providence, sat comely on the countenance of him who 
arose above his environment, like the cedars of Lebanon, and 
desired no other compensation for the service he had rendered 
his Race than the honor of having served it. It is told of 
Pousa, the Chinese potter, that being ordered to produce some 
great work for the Emperor, he tried long to make it, but 
failed. At length, driven to despair, he threw himself into 
the furnace, and the effect of this self-immolation on the ware 
which was in the fire was such that it came out the most beau- 
tiful piece of porcelain ever known. Self-immolation is the 
cost of unselfishness in order that others may receive perma- 
nent, perpetual benefit. Such was the spirit that animated the 
breast of AY. AY. BroAvne. Like his kindred spirit, he threw 
himself into the furnace of public distrust and opinion for the 
sake of the Race, and forthwith came forth a most unique and 
beautiful character that shaped itself into the necessities of a 
desideratum, namely, The Grand Foruntain, United Order of 
True Reformers. It gave impetus to Lis whole after and 
growing life. It was the keynote of his philanthropy; the fire 
which burned in him, and the desire to elevate enabled 
him to be at once lenient, yet firm; gentle, yet not effeminate; 
familiar, without being contemptible. These were characteris- 
tics distinctly his own, apart from which he would not have 
been the personality that he was. Remove these, and Rev. 
Browne would have been impossible in fact and in thought. 
Charity was to him another name for kindness, and philan- 
thropy was his near kinsman, for he was great in adversity, 


by his fortitude ; in prosperity, by his moderation ; in difficul- 
ties, by his prudence ; in danger, by his virtue of character, and 
in religion, by his piety. As a leader, he was more severe and 
positive toward his own faults, but lenient to the errors of 
others. He was dignified, without starch and insolence ; mag- 
nanimous, without assumption and severity; elated, without 
pride ; depressed, without meanness ; superior, without making 
a subordinate chill with coldness, and was among us as one 
that served. These qualities are not conjectures; they were 
involved in the Christian character of Eev. W. W. Browne. 
They were his cherished design. He died as he lived." 

J. L. Berchett: "It is true, no doubt, that it was through 
the providence of God that he won the confidence of his Race. 
We can see that his part of this work had been completed; 
God had shaped his destiny, and when he had finished his course 
God took him out of the world. I imagine when he said that 
he must go and seek his health, he meant to seek for health 

Mr. W. P. Burrell: "Seventeen years ago last January I 
met Eev. William W. Browne at the old Orphan Asylum, on 
Charity street. He had then nothing but his plans and a 
handful of determined followers but, notwithstanding that, 
he knew what the future had in store for him. He unfolded 
his plans to me and told me that if I would stick to him that 
we would build such an Organization as the world had never 
seen. From that day onward, he fought his way steadily on- 
ward and upward, and knew no such word as failure. To me 
he was at times both brother and father, and his counsels will 
never be forgotten. Though a severe disciplinarian, he did 
not pick his men to discipline, but treated all alike, condemn- 
ing where necessary and praising where praise was merited." 

Eev. I. L. Thomas: "This is a very solemn hour. We are 
dealing with a character of whom we should feel proud. This 
is the time when all of us can unite and honor the man who 
has made it possible for this occasion. I remember, in April, 
1892, I came to Richmond for the first time in my life, and I 

— ~ 

* fit& 

r ■■' 

Norfolk. Va. 


met William W. Browne. He looked at me and said, 'I see 
something in you, and I need you in the True Eeformers,' and 
it was not long before he had me. There was something about 
the man which opened my heart and made me appreciate the 
character and the great work which he was doing. We honor 
the man whom God has given us that we might perpetuate 
and carry to success this grand institution, and that it shall be 
a reminder of the greatest character known to our Race. The 
white people have set apart the 22d day of February in honor 
of George Washington, and I wish to say that in order that 
our Race might know and understand the character with 
which we are dealing, there should be set apart 'Memorial 
Day' in honor of William Washington Browne." 

In conclusion, a sheaf which was sent by Mrs. M. A. Browne, 
the widow of Rev. W. W. Browne, was distributed among the 
delegates, that each might carry a piece of it home as a relic. 


General Officers. 

Rev. W. L. TAYLOR President 

W. P. BURRELL General Secretary 

R. T. HILL Cashier 

E. W. BROWN Chief of Bureau of Information 

J. C. ROBERTSON Chief of Real Estate 

EDWARD ELLIS, Jr Grand Worthy Accountant 

Board of Directors. 

W. L. Taylor Bothwell, Va. 

E. T. Anderson Philadelphia, Pa. 

W. P. Burrell Richmond, Va. 

R. Wells Richmond, Va. 

J. T. Carpenter Richmond, Va. 

C. L. Marshall Washington, D. C. 

W. L. Anderson Pittsburg, Pa. 

A. W. Truehart Hampton, Va. 


James Aelen Petersburg^ Va. 

James A. Whitted Durham, N. C. 

G. T. Davage Elizabeth, N. J. 

R. F. Robinson Bothwell, Va. 

Clarke Davenport Nameless, Va. 

Mrs. F. H. James. . .- Washington, D. C. 

J. C. Robertson Attorney 


C. A. Puryear Lynchburg, Va. 

Rev. J. T. Carpenter Washington, D. C. 

Grand Officers. 

Rev. W. L. Taylor Grand Worthy Master 

Rev. E. T. Anderson Grand Worthy Vice-Master 

Frances H. James Grand Worthy Mistress 

Rev. R. Wells Grand Worthy Chaplain 

W. P. Burrell Grand Worthy Secretary 

R. F. Robinson Grand Worthy Treasurer 

G. W. Peters Grand Worthy Guide 

Mrs. Anna M. Willis Grand Worthy Assistant Guide 

B. W. Rivers Grand Worthy Sentinel 

A. P. Henley Grand Worthy P. Guard 

James F. Walker Grand Worthy R. Herald 

Mrs. Rosa F. Wilkerson Grand Worthy L. Herald 

Mrs. Eliza Allen Grand Worthy Governess 

Edward Ellis, Jr Grand Worthy Accountant 

State Board of Managers. 

Rev. W. L. Taylor General Superintendent 

Mrs. Eliza Allen Governess 

Mrs. F. H. James Assistant Governess 

W. P. Burrell Grand Worthy Secretary 





Chief and Direcuu. Memphis, Tenn. 



The new regime becomes now more fully the guiding force 
of the affairs of the corporation. True, the Rev. W. L. Taylor 
had directed affairs, as Acting President, since the adjourn- 
ment of the session of the Grand Fountain of 1897, but W. W. 
Browne (though virtually abdicated) lived until December, 
1897, and might have at any time assumed his prerogatives; 
and even after his death, in December, the impulse of his ad- 
ministration by his old associates and appointees, plus the 
almost all-absorbing interest, naturally consequent upon the 
election of his successor, would have carried the Order for- 
ward in the line of success by the momentum already given. 

The perfect adjustment of all parts of the Organization, the 
well-trained operatives, fired by the personal interest of each 
in the whole, would have carried the Order safely, with all its 
varied departments, through a much longer period than this. 
But, when we consider that the Rev. W. L. Taylor had re- 
ceived special training for the work ; that the toga of Browne 
" had fallen upon him several months before Browne's demise, 
and that he wore it under the eye of his Chief long enough to 
give it proper adjustment, we do not wonder that (except 
from the grief over the death of W. W. Browne and the ex- 
citement consequent upon the coming election) the whole ma- 
chinery of the True Reformers worked as effectually during 
this year as it had done the preceding years. But now the 
Rev. W. L. Taylor. Grand Worthy Master, assumes the full 
moral as well as legal responsibility for affairs, and a new 
epoch in the history of this unique Organization begins. 

The period embraced by this chapter includes from the ad- 
journment of the Grand session of 1898 to that of 1902 — the 
first administration of W. L. Taylor, Grand Worthy Master, 
by regular election ; and since he had served for one year, the 


success or failure of the Order depended entirely upon his 
administration. It started out with adverse winds, as is indi- 
cated by a remark of the Grand Worthy Master in his annual 
address. "You had better watch that fellow who can praise 
an institution like this and say 'that it is the best that God in 
His infinite wisdom has given to us' this year, and the next 
year says 'it is a curse to the nation.' Can you value the fellow 
who says 'everything is all right' as long as he is leading, but 
when another fellow gets there, 'it is all wrong?' ' About this 
time some other societies were beginning to offer inducements 
to officers of the True Reformers to become agents for them. 
In December, 1898, Rev. Taylor having business in Wash- 
ington, D. C, found that many True Reformer Messengers 
and Deputies were playing a double part, in that they pre- 
tended to be loyal to this Brotherhood and at the same time 
representing an institution that was formed by dissatisfied 
True Reformers, claiming that the same was more beneficial 
than the True Reformers ; and he gave an order that all Mes- 
sengers, Deputies or Chiefs who desired to represent that asso- 
ciation should resign their positions in the True Reformers; 
"No man can serve two masters ; he will love the one and hate 
the other." This seemed to put a stop to much of the under- 
ground work going on, and the loyal Messengers and Deputies 
withdrew their support from the concern, while others silently 
endorsed it. He did not say they should not support it, but 
did say' they should not be representatives for that and the 
Grand Fountain ; and in case they represented another associa- 
tion, they must not under any circumstances represent the 
True Reformers, either as delegates, Past Officer, Secretary, 
Messenger, or anything in which there is a single cent of 

There were many in the beginning of this administration 
who had grave doubts as to the success of the Organization 
under its new leadership, but Rev. W. L. Taylor left no stone 
unturned to add to its success. As a result, confidence was 



There had been a little unrest in some portions of the 
Brotherhood, and this had a tendency to impede the work in 
certain localities, but the effect on the general field was not 
serious ; a careful survey of every branch of the Grand Foun- 
tain showed the general condition was never better. A few 
Fountains almost ceased to exist, while hundreds of others in- 

REV. j. w. ligon. 
Chief, Raleigh, N. C. 


Chief, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

creased by large numbers, and in many instances the member- 
ship doubled. Many new points in the North and South were 
opened by the energetic Deputies. The increase of the institu- 
tion in 1900 was unparalleled; every department increased 
over that of any previous year more than fifty per cent. There 
had been many prosperous years in its history, but none so 
filled with every sign of prosperity. In 1901 there was also 
some fighting, the enemies going so far as to have distributed, 
where they thought it would do most good, a scurrilous circu- 

GRAND FOUNTAIN, U. 0. T. R. 289 

lar, which raised some excitement in some quarters, but the 
wave of prosperity was seemingly unaffected by it. There was 
a safe-robbery at Lynchburg and one at Newport News ; but 
the six hundred dollars lost were a mere bagatelle as com- 
pared with what they did not get, and only emphasized the 
necessity of sending money promptly to the Savings Bank for 
deposit. No great internecine strife impeded progress, and 
the wave of prosperity landed high upon the shore of success. 

Another kind of trouble was had during this entire period, 
and doubtless all insurance societies have the same all the time. 
In consequence, some laughable but important discoveries were 
occasionally made, and the Grand Secretary, in his report, 
noted them. For instance, an application was sent from a 
man in Washington, D. C, to join Class E, giving his age at 
forty. Upon investigation, it was found that fourteen years 
previous he joined the Fountain and gave his age at forty-two. 
Again, from Harrisonburg, Va., there came an application 
from a party claiming to be fifty years of age, but stating that 
at the age of twenty-nine she was the mother of ten children. 
While this was not impossible, it was thought improbable, f d 
the Chief was asked to investigate. It was discovered that die 
had a son forty-seven years old. Some mistakes, no doubt, 
are caused by ignorance, but others are the result of premedi- 
tated attempts to rob the Organization, and demands much 
care in accepting applicants. 

While there had been some strenuous opposition to the Tay- 
lor election and early administration, there was a decided 
change of sentiment ere its close. 

Mr. W. P. Burrell thus spoke of it: "As Moses led the 
children of Israel from the darkness of Egypt into sight of 
the light and liberty of Canaan, and he died; so did William 
Washington Browne lead the Negro Race through the Grand 
Fountain into sight of financial light and liberty, and he died. 
God has given us in his place a Joshua in the person of Rev. 
W. L. Taylor to lead this people into the land of finance, that 
they may really and truly enjoy the benefits thereof. 


"Like the school boy who has completed his first year in 
school and mastered a few problems, we (the Grand Fountain) 
had begun to feel that we knew it all; but in the light of expe- 
rience begotten by contact, we are forced to conclude that we 
have not yet finished our primary courses. 

"For our Grand Master, we desire to say that he has been 
tireless in his endeavor to foster the interests of the Order, and 
in this he has been abty supported by every one of his cabinet 
officers. When the way has been clouded and the old ship 
seemed about to strike on unknown rocks, he has called his 
officers into his cabin, and the charts of former years have 
been examined, and where they did not seem to indicate the 
shores we were nearing, he called upon the fraternal pilots of 
the country, in the shape of laws and decisions of the various 
States, and turned the old ship into the proper channels. And 
thus we come up to-day with colors flying and every man, 
from the Grand Worthy Secretary to the janitor, at his post 
of duty and determined to guard it with his life." 

In consequence of this change of sentiment, a harmonius 
effort was made on the inside, and all opposition on the out- 
side availed nothing. 

We have purposely led carefully up to a partial statement 
of the items which denote the success of this administration, 
for the figures tell such astounding facts as seem incredible. 
Now, you may be ready to learn that the Order found its way 
into South Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, during the first 
3'ear; and in the second year there were twenty-four States on 
the roll. So vast was the field that it was found necessary to 
create an additional Grand Division, the Western, comprising 
Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Western 
Ohio, with headquarters at St. Louis. And to learn that new 
Fountains organized in the first year were one hundred and 
twenty-seven; in the second, two hundred and twenty-six; the 
third, two hundred and fifty-seven, and the fourth, two hun- 
dred and thirteen ; a total of eight hundred and twenty-three. 
New Eosebuds: twenty-six in the first; eighty-nine in the 



second; one hundred and twenty-two in the third, and one 
hundred and seven in the fourth — three hundred and forty- 

Chief, New York, N. Y. 

four in all. ISTew members : in the Fountains, forty-six thou- 
sand eight hundred and thirty-four; in the Rosebuds, twelve 


thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven; in the Classes, four 
thousand two hundred and ninety-seven. 

In keeping with the progress of the above mentioned fea- 
ture of the institution there was an increase in the real and 
personal property acquired. The wonderful success of the 
Real Estate department was a positive proof of the onward 
march of the Order. Mr. J. C. Robertson. Chief of- the Dan- 
ville Division, was made Chief of Real Estate and Attorney, 
assuming the duties of the office on the first day of October, 
1898. He found twelve halls leased and twelve others owned 
by the Organization : two dwellings, one hotel and two farms, 
not including the Old Folk's Homes. In 1899 there was a 
beautiful and commodious two-story house built at Roanoke, 
Va., at a cost of four thousand two hundred and thirty-seven 
dollars, and a hall leased at Lexington. Va. In 1900 the hotel 
was enlarged to fifty rooms, at a cost of five thousand dollars; 
a brick store and lot (corner Sixth and Clay streets, in Rich- 
mond. Va..) purchased for eight thousand dollars: a two-story 
brick stable erected at Second and Jackson streets: a lot, with 
dwelling, purchased at Staunton, Va.. for fifteen hundred 
dollars: a lot and hall at Norfolk, Va.. for two thousand eight 
hundred and fifty dollars: a very excellent and centrally lo- 
cated lot. with improvements, in the city of St. Louis. Mo., for 
five thousand and ninety dollars. There were leased halls at 
Wilmington, X. C. Brooklyn. X. Y., New York city. Bedford 
City. Va.. Pittsburg. Pa., Cincinnati. O.. Newport Xews. Va.. 
and Wilmington, Del. All of the above halls were appro- 
priately furnished. In 1900 the list of property owned in- 
cluded fourteen halls, an annex to the Main Office, seven 
dwellings, three farms, one stable, one store and one hotel, all 
valued at one hundred and sixty-nine thousand four hundred 
and >ixty-three dollars and eighty-five cents. In 1901 the 
beautiful building in Portsmouth. Va.. was completed, at a 
cost of five thousand six hundred and seventy-two dollars ; an 
exchange of property at Danville. Va.. gave the Organization 
a large four-story brick building. The President and Board 


of Directors purchased the Columbia building in the city of 
Newport News, Va. Although the building had been erected 
at a cost of twenty thousand dollars, they succeeded in pur- 
chasing it for thirteen thousand one hundred and seventy-five 
dollars. The size of this building was forty-six by eighty-four 
feet, three stories in height, and contained a very large and 
beautiful opera hall. A large three-story brick building was 
leased in St. Louis, Mo., a steam heating plant was installed 
in the Home Office building, making the value of the property 
owned by the Organization one hundred and ninety-one thou- 
sand one hundred and twenty-one dollars and sixty-five cents. 

There was also a substantial increase in the real property in 
1902. The building at Danville, Va., was improved and a 
contract entered into for the erection of a building in Wash- 
ington, D. C, at a cost of forty-five thousand nine hundred 
and fifty dollars. The design of this building is the work" of 
a Negro architect, J. A. Lankford, and is a monument to 
Negro genius and an ocular demonstration of the results of 
combination, concentration and co-operation. A very desir- 
able building was purchased in Cincinnati, O., at a cost of 
seven thousand and forty dollars, and remodeled at a cost of 
two thousand nine hundred and twenty-two dollars and forty- 
five cents. It is a three-story building, containing five spa- 
cious Fountain hall rooms and five tenant rooms. A beautiful 
piece of property was bought at 2600 Pine street, St. Louis, 
Mo., for twenty-two thousand five hundred dollars, and re- 
modeled at a cost of one thousand seven hundred and fourteen 
dollars and forty cents; it is a magnificent stone and brick 
building, four stories high, fronting fifty feet on Pine street 
and one hundred and eleven feet on Jefferson avenue, contain- 
ing sixteen spacious rooms, heated by steam and lighted by 
electricity. Improvements were also made at Baltimore. 

The total value of real and personal property owned at the 
close of Eev. W. L. Taylor's first administration was three 
hundred and twenty-one thousand and thirty-one dollars and 
twenty-five cents, which confirmed the position already held 



by the True Reformers — the strongest Organization managed 
and controlled by Negroes. 

The business sense of this administration was illustrated also 
by so improving the hotel in its management as to make it a 
paying institution. In 1899 its accounts showed a balance in 
its favor. This was the first in its history. In 1900 there 
were added twenty-two rooms to its capacity. For several 


Business Manager Reformer 1897, 
Richmond, Va. 

Special Deputy, 1889, Richmond, Va. 

years it had been called a boarding house, but it now became 
a hotel, and within the year entertained nearly a thousand 
visitors, hailing from twenty-five States. In 1902 the receipts 
of the hotel were nearly five thousand dollars. 

Mr. E. AY. Brown, the gallant Editor of The Reformer, the 
official organ of the Organization, through its columns, was 
an uncompromising defender of the Race, and a supporter of 
the law and order; he in no uncertain tones denounced lynch- 
ings, burnings and the innumerable outrages almost daily per- 
petrated upon some members of the Race, and made earnest 


appeals to a higher Christian civilization for a suppression of 
this laAvlessness and savagery. In August, 1900, this depart- 
ment moved into its new home, the new building erected in 
the rear of the main building. Electricity was the motive 
power for a large cylinder press, a job press and a stitching 
machine. A paper cutter, a good assortment of newspaper 
and job type, prepared the office for efficient work. The 
cost of building and equipment was nearly nine thousand dol- 
lars. At the close of this administration there were sixteen 
employees in this department; there had been an increase of 
seven thousand subscriptions, making a total of ten thousand, 
or nearly three times as many as there were in 1899. The re- 
ceipts had also doubled in amount. 

Westham Farm was freed from debt in 1900. Twenty-three 
thousand nine hundred and seven dollars and seven cents were 
raised for the purchase and improvement of the Old Folk's 
Homes. It is worthy of note that the purchase of this farm 
was the last piece of work done by the lamented W. W. 
Browne; it was transferred by him to the trustees of the 
Grand Fountain, and by them, after obtaining a separate char- 
ter, to the trustees of the Old Folk's Homes in 1901. The farm 
consisted of six hundred and thirty-four and one-quarter acres 
of land. In September, 1899, one hundred and thirty lots 
were cut off and offered for sale. Notwithstanding the gloom 
of darkness that hung densely over the project, those of faith 
rallied to the flag, and many lots were sold. Some paid cash 
in full and others paid part. All of this was done by faith. 
God sent men of means with an electric car line, terminating 
at the boundary of the farm, which links Richmond and West- 
ham together, and doubly increased the value of the land. All 
of these things are evidences of God's goodness and His acqui- 
escence in the good work. This Negro settlement is destined to 
be the finest place of resort and pleasure of the Southland. It 
is called "Browneville," in honor of the founder of the Order. 
In 1902 every lot had been sold. 

The Regalia department, bought from the late W. W» 


Browne for three thousand dollars, made three thousand eight 
hundred and sixty-eight dollars in 1899 — nearly twenty-five 
per cent, more than its original cost. The next year it was 
moved to the main building, and did six thousand one hundred 
and forty-three dollars and twenty-one cents worth of busi- 
ness, which was more than double its first cost. The receipts 
in 1901 were seven thousand one hundred and sixty-seven dol- 
lars and twenty-five cents. So important became this indus- 
try that it was found to be necessary to buy regalia supplies in 
large quantities, and to import the larger part of them direct 
from Europe. The upward trend of business did not forsake 
it, and it wound up by taking i n eight thousand three hun- 
dred and fifty-seven dollars and one cent gross receipts during 
the year 1902. 

The Mercantile department was established during this pe- 
riod, opening stores at Richmond, Washington, D. C, Man- 
chester, Portsmouth and Roanoke, Va., with Mr. B. L. Jordan 
as General Manager. 

The income of the Order for 1899 was two hundred thou- 
sand two hundred and seventy-one dollars and thirty-nine 
cents; for 1900, two hundred and thirty-two thousand eight 
hundred and twenty-seven dollars and fifty-six cents: for 1901, 
three hundred and sixteen thousand two hundred and thirty- 
two dollars and twenty-four cents; and for 1902, three hundred 
and eighty-five thousand seven hundred and forty dollars and 
fifty-eight cents; total for the four years, the magnificent sum 
of one million one hundred and thirty-five thousand and sev- 
enty-one dollars and seventy-seven cents. Comment is super- 

The above more than a million dollar income shows only the 
business done for the Order itself. But the Savings Bank did 
a business of seven hundred and fifty-five thousand nine hun- 
dred and forty-two dollars and eighty cents in 1899, and had 
a cash balance of fifty- four thousand eight hundred and fifty- 
six dollars and sixty-eight cents; the next year's business 
amounted to one million and thirty thousand two hundred and 



eighty dollars and forty-one cents, and left a cash balance of 
ninety-nine thousand seven hundred and sixty-five dollars and 
ninety-one cents; in 1901 the business was one million four 
hundred and thirteen thousand three hundred and sixty-eight 
dollars and eighty-one cents, and the cash balance one hundred 

; *^#/S 

Chief, Alexandria, Va. 

and three thousand two hundred and twenty-nine dollars and 
ninety-six cents; and 1902's business was one million six hun- 
dred and sixteen thousand eight hundred and forty dollars 
and forty-four cents; cash balance, seventy-seven thousand 


five hundred and eighty-nine dollars and thirty-four cents. 
The Bank business from the beginning of this administration 
to its close was four million eight hundred and sixteen thou- 
sand four hundred and thirty-two dollars and forty-six cents, 
or more than half of all the business done by it from its open- 
ing in 1889 to 1902. Or, to put it in another way, more busi- 
ness was done in these four years than had been done in ten 
preceding years. 

The dividends paid each year during this administration 
were thirteen thousand three hundred and forty dollars and 
ninety-two cents ; sixteen thousand four hundred and ninety-one 
dollars and seventy-two cents; nineteen thousand eight hundred 
and forty dollars and ninety cents, and twenty thousand five 
hundred and eighty dollars and seventy-three cents, respectively, 
making a total of seventy thousand two hundred and fifty-four 
dollars and twenty-seven cents. No less wonderful were the 
payments of the notes given W. W. Browne for the purchase 
of the "Plans" of the Organization, there being twenty-eight 
thousand dollars paid by 1902, leaving twenty-two thousand 
dollars due of the original fifty thousand dollars. 

Such wonderful growth as to members also brings with it 
greater responsibilities and an increasing death roll. There 
were fi>e hundred and thirty-three death claims paid in 1899 ; 
five hundred and seventy-seven in 1900; seven hundred and 
twelve in 1901, and nine hundred and twenty-two in 1902. 
Among the many beloved departed members were some of the 
chief officers: 

Clarke Davenport, for eighteen years a member of the Board 
of Directors; Dr. S. H. Dismond, Medical Director, both died 
in 1899 ; also G. W. Peters, Grand Worthy Guide ; E. McPhier- 
son, Chief of Eoanoke Division, in 1900; Mrs. N. P. Claud, 
ex-Grand Worthy Herald, and Rev. E. T. Anderson, Vice- 
Grand Worthy Master, in 1902. Time works great changes; 
of all the thousands of members of the True Reformers, there 
were only two present at the session of 1901 who were present 


at the first session held in the old Orphan Asylum, October 
18, 1881— W. P. Burrell and Mrs. Eliza Allen. 

Among the new departures made during this period were 
the following: The appointments in the Main Office made so 
as to more nearly represent the various Divisions, and, to this 
end, upon the recommendation of the Deputy-Generals, per- 
sons were assigned to duty from North Carolina, Lynchburg, 
Va., Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Both well, Va., 
Delaware and Waynesboro, Va. In view of the increased 
number of Fountains, which necessarily increases the delega- 
tion and incurs great expense on the Subordinate Fountain for 
time and railroad fare, it was determined that each Fountain 
be limited to one representative, and the clause making it com- 
pulsory for each Fountain to send a delegate was stricken out, 
and Fountains were allowed to be represented by letter, if 

In 1900 the Cashier's bond was fixed at thirty thousand dol- 
lars and the Grand Worthy Secretary's at ten thousand dol- 
lars, both secured by the United States Fidelity and Guaranty 

Finally, with a determined effort on the part of the Presi- 
dent, Rev. W. L. Taylor, to curtail expenses of the depart- 
ment, realizing that large sums of money were being expended 
in erecting and repairing buildings, on the first of January, 
1901, he employed Mr. W. T. Coleman, of Louisa, Va,, as car- 
penter on a regular salary, whose work gave entire satisfac- 
tion. He had under him a young man in the person of Mr. 
James A. Lightfoot, of Hanover county, Va. By a careful 
comparison of the work done by Mr. Coleman and the cost 
incident thereto, with similar work of previous years, it was 
ascertained that not only did the saving justify the President 
in this course, but, even more, it warranted the employment of 
another carpenter, in the person of Mr. W. H. Stokes, of 
Roanoke, Va. Mr. Stokes began work for the department in 
the month of April, 1902. The department was highly pleased 
with the results, and felt that these gentlemen could be trusted 



to look out for the best interests of the institution at all times, 
as they had worked early and late to accomplish the best re- 
sults, and always exercised sound judgment and business dis- 
cretion in purchasing needed material. 

By them were erected four stables, one each at the following 
places: Church Hill, Manchester, Eoanoke and Portsmouth; 
and substantial repairs were made on the Baltimore property, 

j. r. HAGIN. 

Chief, Hampton and Newport News, Va. 

Chief, Homestead, Pa. 

Fulton Hall, Roanoke, Danville, Hotel Reformer, General Of- 
fice and the Old Folk's Homes. 

There were in the employ of the Grand Fountain in 1902 
two hundred and forty-seven employees on salary, and fifteen 
on commission, ninety-one of whom were added in the last 
four years. At the headquarters the forty of four years ago 
had increased to one hundred and fifty. 

An exhibit of the Order was made at the Charleston Expo- 
sition in 1902. 


Grand Worthy Master Taylor was justly proud of the 
achievement of his first administration, which issued charters 
to. eight hundred and eighteen new Fountains, three hundred 
and forty-three new Rosebuds, and more than fifty-nine thou- 
sand policies to individuals. It is fitting that we close this 
narrative with his words: 

"The institution has moved on successfully, and from every 
point news of peace and good will come. From every section 
comes the news, 'We are with you.' From almost every sec- 
tion where the work is not known, we can hear the cry, 'Come 
over into Macedonia and help us,' and our ability has been 
limited to the extent that we have not had men and women 
sufficient to supply the demands. To-day, if we had them, we 
could use two hundred men and women as deputies on the field. 
The South and all sections are beginning to wake up, and we 
can see delegates representing the Fountains as far South as 
Georgia, as far West as Denver, Colorado, and as far East as 

"I feel not only thankful for myself, but I think I speak 
your sentiments when I say you are thankful to Almighty God 
that you arc permitted to meet in this, the twenty-second an- 
nual session of your institution, to know that it has lived to be 
full grown. We will all admit that the Negro is famous for 
organizations; he loves to organize; but it is rarely that his 
organizations hold together long enough to accomplish the 
much desired end. Strife, bickerings and jealousy generally 
creep in before the institution gets old enough or strong 
enough to stand alone. But when we review the twenty-two 
years of the existence of this institution, starting as it did in 
1881, with one hundred members, and tracing it up from that 
time, our books will show an entrance upon the membership 
roll of nearly one hundred thousand members, with more than 
sixty-five thousand- benefited, we can only say, 'Thank God.' 
Starting as we did in 1881, without one dollar's worth of real 
property, our Chief of Eeal Estate is to-day preparing to pre- 
sent us with a list of property aggregating in market value 


more than three hundred thousand dollars, and we can say, 
'Thank God'; starting as we did, twenty-two years ago, with 
only one hundred and fifty dollars as capital, and to-day our 
reports will show that we have done more than eight millions 
of dollars worth of business, a real estate standing of more 
than three hundred thousand dollars, and a sufficient cash 
balance to meet all of our demands, we can say this is like a 
white man's organization. The Negro has learned business. 
I am proud to know that a few Negroes in this country who 
have reallv outlived self have gotten together and have set the 
example for others, and we can truthfully say that the exam- 
ple as set by the Grand Fountain in her career of twenty-odd 
years, serves to benefit the Negro Race of this country; for 
every Negro organization that we have to-day has begun to 
consider, and if they have not already revised, they are con- 
sidering the revision of their methods, and getting as near like 
the True Reformers as possible. Why is this? We can only 
answer by saving, this institution has set the example and 
others have learned that to succeed they must follow; hence 
every Negro organization of any note has adopted, at least, 
some of our plans. Some of them have adopted the very 
identical plans and simply changed the name of 'Sam' to 
'John,' or the name of 'Browne' to somebody else. Ours is 
chartered, and Ave could, if we wished, knock out some of their 
plans; but we, too, have learned to be broad and manly, and 
we say that the world is so broad and the territory is so large, 
that if you can cut a road by the side of mine, so you don't 
cross mine, go ahead. So I am proud to be a member of the 
Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, the mother 
and father of all successful Negro enterprises in this country." 
On Wednesday, September 3, 1902, at the evening session, 
Mr. R. T. Hill, Cashier, said : "Four years ago it was my 
position to oppose you for this same position you have so 
wisely filled. It was then that I did not know you; did not 
believe that you had the qualities that you have, and that you 
have manifested since; I did not believe that God could hew 



from the backwoods of Hanover such a man as you are ; I did 
not believe that, coming from the quarries of our State, that 


Rev. I. L. THOMAS. D. D. 
Enthusiastic Reformer, Preached the funeral of W. W. Browne, Washington, \T>. C, 

we could get such a marble shaft as we have, and I thank God ; 
I rejoice in the man, and I believe that I speak the sentiment 


of every man or woman on this floor when I say, we all rejoice 
that God has given us this great leader to lead on in this 
great fight. I will assure you, Grand Worthy Master, that 
had I known you then as I do now, I would not have been the 
man to oppose you. 

"Now, brethren, I feel that the man who can make such a 
report of his work as he has done to-night is deserving of a 
renomination, and I do not believe that a speech is necessary ; 
I believe that his work renominates him. He has been a faith- 
ful man ; he has been a Christian-hearted man to us all. Many 
a man would have ousted every man who had opposed him, 
had they the power that he has had. I think that shows the 
heart of the man. It shows you the character of the man. 
Therefore, Grand Worthy Master, without further talk, I 
take the greatest pleasure in nominating William L. Ta}dor 
as the Grand Worthy Master of this institution for the next 
four years." 

Mr. W. P. Burrell, Grand Worthy Secretary: "I rise as 
ever in support of my friend, Mr. E. T. Hill. I am here to 
second everything that he has said. There is only one thing 
that I do not want to concede to him. I have always felt that 
I was the man who made W. L. Taylor, but as R. T. Hill was 
the instrument we used to sharjoen him, I guess we will have 
to divide the honors. I think, Mr. President, that there is not 
one of us present, no matter what our sentiments may have 
been four years ago, but who is thankful that in God's wise 
providence we did not carry our aims through. Our objects 
were for what Ave believed to be the best interest of this Or- 
ganization. For twenty years I have stood for what I be- 
lieved to be the best interest of this Organization, but I have 
long since learned that when the people have decided that this 
or that is right, it is certainly right. And the people have de- 
cided in their judgment that W. L. Taylor is the man; and we 
decided at once that we were mistaken and he must be the 
man. and we all pledged him our support. This splendid report 
he has rendered here to-night, showing that over fifty-six thou- 

GRAND FOUNTAIN, U. 0. T. R. 305 

sand members have been added to this Organization under his 
administration, and that the business of the Bank has in- 
creased three-fourths, and that, whereas, he found forty-odd 
clerks employed in the business when he came, it has been 
necessary to increase that number to nearly one hundred and 
fifty — this has been the cause of this Organization deciding 
that he is our Grand Master ; that he is our President, and 
that as such we must support him. Mr. President, the mem- 
bers of this Organization, no matter what their ideas may 
have been before the election, after it was decided that Wil- 
liam Lee Taylor was -to be the President for four years, then 
each one of us said, 'Amen'; and I think that, as I rise in sup- 
port of Mr. R. TV Hill, that the only thing necessary for me to 
say is, that the seven hundred and odd delegates and members 
of the Grand Fountain here present decide and do hereby 
order that the Executive Committee, when they bring in nomi- 
nations, bring in the name of William Lee Taylor for Presi- 

Lawyer Black : "Mr. President, I move that the nomination 
be closed and referred to the Executive Committee, with our 
recommendation that Rev. W. L. Taylor be elected by acclama- 

Motion carried. 



Mr. R. J. Kyles (welcome) : "I am before men and women 
who have been sitting at the feet of Gamaliel in the person of 
the immortal William Washington Browne, who taught them 
during his eighteen years' connection with them that 'what the 
white man has done the Xegro can do.' 

"The success of this institution means the success of the 

"We thank God that we are able to welcome you to an insti- 
tution not rent and torn by the misunderstandings and dis- 
satisfactions of last year; with its membership scattered to the 

Miss M. L. Jones, Harrisonburg, Pa. Mrs. S. J. Winters, Providence, R. I. 

Mrs. N. 1. Somerville, Clarkesville, Va. 
Mrs. N. M. Mclntire, Florence, S. C. 

Rev. P. W. Diggs, Courtland, Va. 
Mrs. M. L. Howard, Savannah, Ga. 


four corners of the earth, but to an institution united from one 
end of its domain to the other in the grand and noble cause — 
the uplifting of suffering humanity." 

Rev. J. L. Cohron (response) : "I represent a body of black 
men and women that constitutes the greatest Organization in 
the United States. And as Brother Kyles said that Virginia 
was the mother of States and Presidents, in accepting this 
hearty welcome, we say that Virginia is not only the mother 
of States and Presidents of these United States, but she is the 
mother of the first President of the first successful Negro 

"We have come together for the purpose of letting the world 
know, my friends, that the institution that was founded by 
our first leader, is a means, and, to my mind, is the greatest 
means, outside of the religion of the Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ, that will make the world recognize us as men." 

Mrs. N". P. Claud: "There was a time when women had 
nothing to do when they married but tie up their heads, sit 
in the corner and dip snuff, but this Organization is teaching 
us not only how to be True Reformers, but it teaches us 
to be economical, and that it requires as much to keep our 
husbands good husbands as it did to keep them good young 
men when they were courting us." 


Mr. A. W. Holmes (welcome) : "That he has been a success- 
ful leader goes without contradiction, and for that reason I 
have the profound pleasure of welcoming you to the greatest 
annual session ever held in the history of the Order, as the 
following facts and figures will show that the Brotherhood 
was never in better condition than at present. In the Foun- 
tain department we have organized two hundred and twenty- 
six Fountains and have added ten thousand nine hundred and 
ninety-two members, with twenty-four States on roll. The 
Rosebuds, the little children's department, God bless them, 


have added eighty-nine Rosebud Fountains, with three thou- 
sand five hundred and thirteen members." 

Rev. B.- W. Rivers (response) : "Let this our prayer be 
from now on : God, give us men ; a time like this demands it ; 
men with great minds, true hearts, earnest faith and ready 
hands. Men whom the lust of office does not kill; men that 
the spoils of office cannot buy; men with an opinion and a 
will ; men who have honor ; men Avho will not lie ; men who 
can stand before the demagogue and damn his treacherous 
flattering without winking; tall men, sun-crowned, who live 
above the fog in public duty and in private thinking." 

Rev. A. J. Tyler: "When I was here two or three years 
ago, it pained my heart to hear them say so many things about 
Rev. Browne that should have been said while he was living. 
If the South, East and North are ungrateful, the West means 
to give honor to whom honor is due. It is no discredit on our 
late Grand Master, Rev. Browne, that this man has done more 
work, because this great example was made by the Lord Jesus 
Christ when he said, 'Greater work than this shall thou do 
because I go to my Father.' Grand Master, when the smoke 
has been dispersed and the dust of confusion subsided, vou 
may look to the West for support." 

Mrs. M. E. Holmes (to the Rosebuds) : "It is my delight 
always to say a word to the children, for they are the ones 
who will perpetuate the Negro Race. I generally speak to my 
people at home and tell them to see to the girls and see to the 
boys; see that they are brought up in the way that you would 
have them go; if the children have the proper training at 
home, in the school room, and at Sunday-school, it will not take 
much preaching to bring them to the Master." 


Mr. E. W. Brown (welcome) : "The welcome we give you 
to our city is as pure, hearty and sweet as the air you breathe. 

"In the great census of impending revolutions, and at the 
climax of the Civil War, it was a stage for actors and of 



actions, of the heroic epic and the sublime. It was the scene 
of Bacon's Rebellion, one of the first uprisings against 'royal 
prerogative encroachment of the crown,' divine rights, and 


Chief 1902, Alexandria Va. 

any other by which we may designate monarchy and tyranny 
on this side of the water. It was from the high altar of old 
St. John's church that Patrick Henry proclaimed independence 


in words that will electrify the soul of every free man, black 
or white, in bold words, 'Give me liberty or give me death !' 
The dreaded years from 1861 to 1865, from the inception at 
Fort Sumter to the armistice at Appomattox, Richmond was 
a besieged city, holding steadfastly out against the greatest 
marshals and strongest levies the North could bring to reduce 

Mr. W. R. Griffin (response) : "This is not a mere social 
festival, though it will be pleasant indeed for us to mingle 
together in social fellowship. It is not a dress parade, where 
vain men may exhibit their learning, though it may be confi- 
dently expected that the discussions and deliberations of this 
body will bring to us some of the best fruits of Christian 
scholarship. If we can accomplish nothing else but to help 
each other to think more and to think better, that Avill be a 
sufficient reward." 

John C. Dancy: "I have been trying to study your Order 
for the last five or six years. I have been concerned in this 
work, and I have said time and again that the True Reform- 
ers' Order is the grandest of all the orders of the entire Race. 
Under your present leadership, you have more than doubled 
your receipts in the last five years. You have gone from one 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars to four hundred thousand 
dollars, and you have given out in benefits to the members of 
the Race more than one-half million dollars. You have gone 
from twenty thousand to fifty thousand members. Now, this 
is a progress of which we should feel proud." 

Mr. J. C. Robertson (welcome) : "Our welcome, a spon- 
taneous outburst of the soul, means more than an ordinary 
greeting or superficial assurance of our delight to have you as 
visitors to our city, delegates to the twenty-second annual ses- 
sion, and guests in our homes. It means that this city, once 
the gateway to despair, misery and death, is now the sign-post 
to courage, happiness and life; once the promoter of human 
slavery, now the champion of human liberty; once the spot 
where our fathers and mothers were brought together, sold at 


public outcry, as goods and chattels, now the envied place 
where they can assemble under their own vine and fig tree, 
with no one to hinder, molest or make afraid ; once the capital 
of the Southern Confederacy, which advocated the fallacious 
doctrine that the Negro was providentially intended to be only 
a 'hewer of wood and drawer of water,' and to that end he was 
denied the right of citizenship, barred from the advantages of 
an advanced civilization, and, in a word, deprived of man- 
hood, now a magnificent and prosperous city, with its commer- 
cial doors thrown wide open and a municipal invitation to 
all of her citizens, without regard to race, color or previous 
condition of servitude, to enter the arena of business and add 
to the wealth and material prosperity." 

R. B. McEary (response) : "Various are the panaceas that 
have been offered for the ills of society, but we are especially 
interested in such as have been suggested for the solution of 
the so-called 'Xegro problem.' Legislation has attempted to 
solve the problem, but from the days of Solon and Lycurgus 
to the enactment of the last penal statute on earth, including 
Virginia and similar Constitutional Conventions, one fact has 
stood forth prominently clear, and that is, the utter impo- 
tency of the law to secure human happiness. In our case, not 
only legislation, but amalgamation and emigration, and many 
another idealization utterly impossible of consummation, have 
been proposed, and still the so-called problem, like Banco's 
ghost, will not down. What the many remedies that have 
been suggested for the evils among us have signally failed 
to accomplish, one system which has successfully stood the test 
for twenty-two years has effected, and is effecting to-day." 

Ex-Congressman George White : "I have been in public life 
for more than twenty-five years ; I have been engaged in many 
business operations; I have been identified with many organi- 
zations, and I have been faithful and true to them all and 
would say nothing that would take one iota from them. But, 
notwithstanding the fact that I have been connected with all 

Rev. R. V. PEYTON. 

Pastor Sixth ]\lt. Zion Baptist Church. A staunch supporter of True Reformerism, 

Richmond, Va. 


of them, I have been looking around to ascertain some place 
where the colored people of the country are doing something. 
My attention goes to the grand Order of True Reformers. I 
am here to-night, not as ex-Congressman White, not as Law- 
yer White, but as an humble worker in the Order of True 



This, the last period, includes the years 1903 to 1905, and 
completes the narrative of twenty-five years of the life and 
work of the True Reformers. 

By this time the Order has become so popular that, passing 
through some parts of the country, one would see signs, "True 
Reformers' Store,*' "True Reformers 1 Restaurant," although 
the places of business had no connection whatever with the 
True Reformers. 

In accord with its habit, the Order's increase for 1903 was 
greater than in any previous year — more than twenty thou- 
sand policies were issued, and twenty-six States comprised the 
territory of its field of labor. 

The twenty-third session was held in Washington, D. C., in 
15)03. This was the third time in the history of the Order that 
it had held its annual meeting in Washington. It might not 
be out of place to note the progress made between the times of 
the various sessions held here, as shown in the Grand Worthy 
Secretary's report. 

The first session held in Washington was September 29, 
1885, in the Metropolitan Baptist church, at which time there 
were fifty-one Fountains in the Brotherhood and thirty-nine 
delegates in attendance. The report of the Grand Secretary 
showed that two thousand and nine dollars had been collected 
on all accounts for the whole year, from September, 1884, to 
September. 1 885. The amount paid on death claims was eight 
hundred dollars. 

The next session was held in the Mt. Pisgah Methodist 
church, September 2. 1890 — just five years after the first meet- 
ing here. At this meeting the reports showed that there were 
three hundred and thirty-four Fountains on roll and there 
were one hundred arid fifty-sight delegates in attendance. The 



amount collected for all purposes was thirty thousand six hun- 
dred and ninety-five dollars and fifty-three cents. The amount 
paid in death claims was nineteen thousand and forty-nine 
dollars and seven cents. The report now shows that there are 
two thousand and ninety-seven Fountains on roll, and that at 
the various conventions held in August, over nine hundred 
delegates attended from the various Fountains. In 1903 the 

Chief Finance, Richmond, Va. 

Bank Book-keeper, Richmond, Va. 

amount collected for all purposes exceeded three hundred thou- 
sand dollars. These three meetings mark great periods of 
progress in the history of the Order, and serve to show us that 
in members the Order has taken no backward step, but that 
its trend is ever onward and upward. The members of this 
Organization will be satisfied with no other inscription on 
their banners but "Excelsior," and as the Greeks wrote on the 
great rock of Gibraltar, "Xe Plus Ultra" — there is nothing 


more beyond. The great success of the Order has not been 
achieved by individual effort, but by united action. Every 
man, woman and child has been able to contribute something 
to its success. 

The Reformers' Mercantile and Industrial Association was 
chartered in 1900, under the laws of the State of Virginia, 
giving the Organization the right to purchase and own one 
thousand acres of land in each county in the Union, together 
with other privileges along the mercantile and industrial lines. 
This department started out April 3, 1900, with one store 
located at Richmond, Va. Up to the present she has six stores 
in operation, located at Richmond, Manchester, Portsmouth, 
Roanoke and Salem, Va., and Washington, D. C, allowing each 
of them to run the business independent of the other, each store 
being responsible for its own running expenses. This system 
proved very satisfactory; they have succeeded well, meeting 
all of their obligations and having from two hundred to two 
thousand dollars in the Bank to their credit, their stocks all 
being kept up at the same time. 

The Real Estate department received twenty-seven thousand 
seven hundred and seventy-seven dollars and thirty-nine cents 
in 1903, of which amount twenty-seven thousand two hundred 
and nineteen dollars and eighty-six cents were on rentals. The 
assets of this department were three hundred and eighty-five 
thousand four hundred and seventy-five dollars and fifty-two 

The Old Folk's Home receipts were six thousand six hun- 
dred and nine dollars and fifty-four cents. Richmond having 
contributed three hundred and twenty-two dollars and eighty- 
eight cents, the banner of the Southern Division was awarded 
her. For the Xorthern Grand Division, Philadelphia, having 
raised one thousand five hundred and twenty-eight dollars and 
twenty-one cents, the banner was awarded her. St. Louis 
having raised two hundred and thirty-five dollars and twenty- - 
nine cents, the banner of the Western Grand Division was 
awarded her. 


The ladies of Richmond organized a Woman's Auxiliary to 
the Old Folk's Home. A joining fee of ten cents was charged, 
and each member paid five cents per month. The money was 
banked to the credit of the Auxiliary, and at stated times was 
turned over to the management of the Home. They also had 
encouchecl in their by-laws a clause which permitted them to 
assist any aged person who might be worthy to be admitted 
to the Home. It would be a great idea for other Divisions to 
take hold of this work, as it is a worthy cause. 

The Reformer receipts amounted to seven thousand four 
hundred and sixteen dollars and twenty-six cents. The Hotel, 
five thousand nine hundred and eighty-two dollars and fifty- 
eight cents; the Supply department, twenty-one thousand four 
hundred and three dollars and seventy-five cents; the Regalia, 
eight thousand two hundred and sixty-seven dollars and six- 
teen cents; the Record department, forty-seven thousand eight 
hundred and fifty-one dollars and twenty-six cents; the 
amount banked to the credit of the Finance department was 
two hundred and fifty-seven thousand seven hundred and 
forty-four dollars and sixty-nine cents. 

The dividends declared amounted to twenty-three thousand 
two hundred and thirty-two dollars. 

The Savings Bank disbursed eight hundred and eighty-three 
thousand six hundred and forty-five dollars and fourteen 
cents, leaving a cash balance on hand of forty-eight thousand 
five hundred and thirty-five dollars and seventy-three cents. 

Some time in October, 1902, attention was called to the non- 
payment of several death claims. It was proven that the 
money was forwarded to the Chief of the Division for pay- 
ment. For some cause he had failed to pay the beneficiaries ; 
he claimed that some one had robbed the safe and relieved him 
of several hundred dollars. On investigation, it was found 
that the safe had not been blown open, and, if opened at all, 
it was done by some one who knew the combination ; hence he 
was told that he would have to be responsible for the payment 
of the same. He proceeded to give notes to cover the same, to 

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be paid monthly. Thus, it was found very necessary to have 
every Deputy, as well as all officers rilling positions of trust, 
to give bond. This was the only flagrant case of the year. 

The roll showed two thousand and ninety-seven Senior 
Fountains ; seven hundred and two Rosebud Fountains, and 
seventy thousand benefited members. 

There were one thousand and forty-one deaths, which num- 
ber included two Grand Officers — Eev. Richard Wells, Grand 
Worthy Chaplain, and Rev. E. T. Anderson, Vice-Grand 
Master and Deputy-General of the Southern Grand Division. 

B. W. Rivers succeeded Rev. E. T. Anderson ^^Deputy- 
General, and Mr. Edward Ellis, Jr., succeeded him as Vice- 
Grand Master. 

The number of employees on the roll was two hundred and 

The True Reformers' great building at Washington, D. G, 
was dedicated July 15, 1903. Speaking of it, the Grand 
Worthy Master thus very graphically described some interest- 
ing points of history, relating to this and other buildings: 

"I was not willing to put any kind of a building in Wash- 
ington. This is the capital of the nation. The critics from all 
over the country center in Washington. The Negro is the 
bone of contention, and there are many that say he is indolent 
and only fit for a 'hewer of wood and a drawer of water.' 
Therefore, I made up my mind, in keeping with Mr. Browne's 
request, God being my helper, to put up a building in Wash- 
ington that Avould reflect credit upon the Negro Race. In the 
meantime the Board voted forty thousand dollars to put up a 
building in St. Louis. It was impossible to put up a building 
that would reflect the proper credit upon this Negro national 
Organization for that money. We found a building on the 
corner of Pine street and Jefferson avenue which, at a small 
cost, could be made to suit our purposes. The lowest price set 
on the building was thirty-five thousand dollars, and the low- 
est figures anticipated by the owners was thirty thousand 
dollars, but we succeeded in buying it for twenty-two thou- 


sand five hundred dollars. Take twenty-two thousand five 
hundred dollars from forty thousand dollars; we had seven- 
teen thousand five hundred dollars of the money voted for St. 
Louis to invest in property elsewhere. We went on from St. 
Louis to Louisville, Ky. "We soon located a place there that 
was valued at twelve thousand dollars. We got it before we 
got through for four thousand six hundred dollars. Take four 
thousand six hundred dollars from seventeen thousand five 
hundred dollars, which leaves twelve thousand nine hundred 
dollars of the amount that the Board donated to be spent in 
St. Louis|| 

"We went from that point to Cincinnati, O., and selected a 
site that had been sold twelve months before for twelve thou- 
sand dollars on Sixth street, with a double car line running by 
the door. The agent told us that he thought that we could 
get it for nine thousand dollars. I said, 'If you want to sell 
the place at the proper figures, I will buy it.' He became very 
anxious for me to make an offer, and I made an offer of seven 
thousand dollars cash. The owner came over and signed the 
paper. I asked for the deed, which I gave to a guarantee 
company to examine the title. I sent Lawyer Robertson to 
put it on record. Thus, you see, I got a building in St. Louis, 
Mo., Louisville, Ky.. Cincinnati, O., and still had some of the 
money left. Now, Ave come to Washington. We found that 
the seating capacity of a possible building at Washington, on 
the old site, would not exceed three hundred and fifty persons. 
The agent offered us five thousand dollars for the lot. We 
had paid ten thousand dollars for it ; so we could not take that. 
He said that was all that he could give, but he had a lot on U 
street that he would sell for eight thousand five hundred dol- 
lars. I said, 'I will not do that.' But. finally, we came to an 
agreement and made an even exchange of lots. Then we went 
to work to put up this building. We called for bids, and the 
lowest was fifty-five thousand dollars. We throw them all 
out and called for other bids. This time we succeeded in 
getting a Negro contractor in Lynchburg, Va., to bid. We 



wanted this building put up to the credit of the Negro Eace. 
So we found a Negro architect in the person of J. A. Lank- 

Chief, Savannah, Ga. 

ford. He drew the plans. Then we found the Negro builders 
at Lynchburg, Messrs. Boiling & Everett. We said to the 
contractors, 'If you cannot get security in the Guarantee Com- 


pany, give us a good bond elsewhere and we will accept it.' 
They found a Negro, Mr. A. Humbles, who came to their 
rescue and gave us a certified check for twenty thousand dol- 
lars, to hold until the building was completed. So we com- 
pleted the job without a hitch. The building was completed 
and turned over to us July 1st.'' 

This narrative displays both interest in the Order and busi- 
ness sense and shrewdness upon the part of the President and 

The Trustees of the Virginia Seminary, knowing how ardu- 
ously President Taylor had labored during the time of his 
incumbency, and in appreciation of his magnificent services 
rendered the School and the Race generally, had voted to 
honor him with the degree of Doctor of Divinity, and to that 
end appointed its president. Professor Gregory W. Hayes, to 
confer the same at Washington, D. C. 


W. S. Woodson (welcome) : "We are glad to have you come 
to tell us how the work is progressing in the far off borders of 
our Brotherhood. How shines (he light of True Reformerism 

through the darkness; how burns its fire upon the altar of 
Pace development; how does it satisfy and help those who are 
struggling upward through the gloom of a most unreasonable 
and unwarranted prejudice; what encouragement does it offer 
to those who are bravely fighting their way over mountains of 
difficulties? Does the light of True Reformerism cheer up 
their gloom and give them promise of better things beyond? 
Does it offer any solution to the Pace question? Does it prove 
our worthiness to live in this country and enjoy all the rights 
and privileges that belong to every American citizen? Does 
it establish our claim to moral, intellectual, financial and in- 
dustrial equality? Does it come to us in answer to prayers 
prayed by our mothers now long dead ? Tell us ! We would 
like to know. And now, sir. to you upon whose shoulders has 
fallen the mantle of Browne — you who must feel the cares, the 

GRAND FOUNTAIN, U. 0. T. R. 323 

burdens, the sorrows and the disappointments of so responsi- 
ble a position — you who must feel most keenly any show of 
faithlessness in those around you — you who must bear all the 
blame for failure, and yet must share the honors of success — ■ 
you who have had to contend against great odds in carrying 
forward the mission that Browne started, and, dying, laid it 
upon yon — you who were too loyal to disobey a single com- 
mand, too honest to shirk any duty; who endured untold 
provocation and were subjected to many hardships and dis- 
advantages; who became a missionary without pay, leaving 
the comforts of home and family to carry the gospel of True 
Reformerism to the hearts and homes of men who sat in dark- 
ness, waiting for the light — we Avelcome you." 

T. Wi Taylor (response) : "The starry flag has become a 
fixed constellation o'er the Asiatic seas, but better than all, we 
have learned to love our native land. Gone, we trust, are the 
days of strife, bitterness and doubt within the enclosure of 
of this Organization, and welcome the days of peace, of con- 
fidence and of lasting brotherhood. We come to you in the 
early dawn of the twentieth century — a century of wonderful 
development, a century of great achievement in both private 
and public affairs, an age in Avhich science and invention reign 
supreme, an electrical age. Old empires have passed away, 
and nations with them gone. Kings and czars have been born, 
have ruled, and have been forgotten. Boundaries of nations 
have been changed, thrones have fallen and old dynasties have 
been destroyed, yet man remains and asserts his power." 

Dr. Reynolds, of Danville, Va., spoke of his meeting with 
Mr. Browne, who came into his office one day and told him of 
his mission, and asked if he would like to be a True Reformer. 
But just at that time he said that there were hundreds and 
thousands of organizations that were pressing themselves be- 
fore the Xegro physicians; hence the True Reformers did not 
receive the recognition that really belonged to them, and W. 
W, Browne received only the courtesies that were usually 

Mr. J. M. Braden, Indianapolis, Ind. Kev. Z. T. Whiting, Ordinary, Va. 

Rev. "W. H. Quiet, Winchester, Va. 
Mr. J. H. Ashby, Newport News, Va. Rev. D. W. Jones, Warrenton, Va. 


given to ordinary individuals. "I realize now the mistake that 
we made." 

Mr. Quiet: "I am glad that there is so much in which our 
people are interested. I do not know whether it has ever en- 
tered your minds of the good work you are really doing. I am 
a True Reformer; not because it has a great name, but because 
it is doing more than all the institutions of color combined. 
I want to say again that I am proud of being a True Re- 
former. I am glad to see that the city of Washington, over 
which there has been so much squabbling, has grounded the 
handle and helmet and is marching on to glory and . victory." 

On April 10, 190-1, Saturday night, a young colored man 
smashed in two large panes of glass and entered the Bank, 
crawled over the counter and opened the Cashier's desk and 
searched around generally. While doing so the watchman, 
Brother Joseph Ward, of Healing Stream Fountain, of Rich- 
mond, Va.j heard some noise in the Bank, and, on throwing 
up his window, saw a man run rapidly past the window to the 
front. The watchman left his window and made for the 
front, and reached the street at the same time the robber did, 
and, when commanded to halt, he leveled a riot gun at the 
watchman, who, finding that he had no time to play, fired, and 
shot the robber dead. The man fell on the gun, which proved 
to be our gun that he had taken from the Bank. The man was 
identified as Emmett Steward, a butler in a private residence 
on Grace street. The next morning the janitor was tried and 

Only one Division had trouble in 1904 as to shortage (over 
one hundred dollars). She was ordered to "make the same 
good." The matter was referred to Deputy-General Puryear 
for settlement. 

New insurance written during the year 1904 amounted to 
one million six hundred and forty-five thousand one hundred 
and sixty dollars. 

Complaints came from many quarters that the Subordinate 
Fountains could not pay the necessary expense after paying 


the twenty-five cents to the Mortuary fund. As a remedy for 
this, many proposed a reduction of the Mortuary fund of 
twenty-five cents and an increase of the amount that goes to 
the sick treasury. It may be true that twenty-five cents per 
month is not sufficient to meet the running expenses of many 
of the Fountains, but, on the other hand, twenty-five cents is 
not too much to pay for the insurance protection afforded by 
the Grand Fountain. Twenty-five cents per month is equal to 
three dollars a year for the protection of one hundred and 
twenty-five dollars. This is equal to twenty-four dollars per 
year for the protection of one thousand dollars. When it is 
considered that this charge was uniform, regardless of age, 
it can at once be seen that this was the cheapest insurance 
offered by any society in the country which pays its claims. 
To verify this fact, it will only be necessary to compare the 
rates of the reliable white concerns; and, in many instances, 
they will be found to be twice that amount. Now, since it 
were impossible to reduce the twenty-five cents Mortuary fund, 
it was necessary to provide some means to increase the funds 
of the sick treasury. This is done in other organizations by 
the introduction of various social features and entertainments. 

The accounts of the Order stood the most rigid tests of the 
examiner employed to examine into the condition and status 
of this Brotherhood. No doubt there were many who, believ- 
ing that the machinery had been operated wrongly, were dis- 
appointed, and sorely so. 

The Insurance Commissioner of the District of Columbia, 
after careful and expensive examination, found one hundred 
and twenty-three thousand dollars in cash to the credit of the 
Grand Fountain, not including the real property and other 
tangible assets. 

Previous to the examination, the commissioner offered to 
find some plan of improvement on general bookkeeping, but 
found that the system was complete, and commended heartily 
those in charge of the Grand Fountain's records, and spe- 
cially commended the Grand "Worthy Master and officers for 



their honesty and economical management; and, as further 
evidence of the stability of the Organization and proof of the 
fact that it conformed to the laws regulating fraternal socie- 
ties, as adopted by Congress, the commissioner officially 
licensed the Grand Fountain to do business in the District of 

The Hotel receipts were four thousand six hundred and 
twenty-eight dollars and twenty-five cents. The Keal Estate 
department receipts were fifty-six thousand nine hundred and 


Vice-Chief, and Bank Watchman, 
Richmond, Va. 


Stenographer, Richmond, Va. 

thirty-one dollars and forty cents (including thirty-one thou- 
sand four hundred and eighty-seven dollars and thirty-four 
cents for rent), an earning of twenty-seven and three-fourths 
per cent. Dividends declared, seventeen thousand one hun- 
dred and sixty-five dollars and thirty-five cents. Total assets 
were four hundred and fifty-one thousand five hundred and 


ninety-nine dollars. The Finance department received two 
hundred and fifty-one thousand seven hundred and thirty-nine 
dollars and sixty-one cents. 

Richard Gatewood, of Richmond, Va., was the first to pay 
the entrance fee and move to the Old Folk's Home. 

The Bank did business to the amount of one million six 
hundred and seventeen thousand eight hundred and seventy- 
nine dollars and forty-seven cents, and had a cash balance of 
forty-eight thousand one hundred and seventy-five dollars 
and thirty-two cents. 

There were one hundred and forty-eight new Fountains or- 
ganized, one hundred and thirteen Rosebuds, and seven hun- 
dred and thirteen persons put in the Classes ; new policies writ- 
ten, eighteen thousand three hundred and thirty-three; and 
the total benefited membership was seventy-three thousand. 
With sixty thousand benefited members in 1003, the increase 
had been at the rate of thirty per cent. It remains to be shown 
yet as to whether this great and rapid increase was to the 
Order's benefit or detriment. The Grand AVorthy Secretary 
said : "If these eighteen thousand risks have been caref nlly and 
conscientiously selected, then the Organization has been bene- 
fited. On the other hand, if any great proportion of these are 
persons who made false statements as to age and health, then 
the Fountains must suffer from the payments of large amounts 
of sick dues, and the general Organization must suffer from 
increased death rates. Let us hope that the latter condition 
will not be realized, and that the Organization was perma- 
nently benefited by the addition of eighteen thousand worthy 

The "Card System" was introduced this year at an expense 
of one thousand dollars, but the saving in time and conveni- 
ence for the future justified the expenditure and more. 

During this year there were eight hundred and eighty deaths 
in the Senior Fountains, amounting to one hundred and three 
thousand eight hundred and seventy dollars. These deaths 
were spread over twenty-three States; and among the Rose- 


buds there were one hundred and five deaths, amounting to 
three thousand one hundred and ten dollars. These were scat- 
tered over seventeen States. In Class E there were sixty-five 
deaths, amounting to twenty-nine thousand six hundred and 
sixty dollars. These were scattered over twelve States. The 
total number of deaths in all departments were one thousand 
and ninety-four, amounting to one hundred and forty-four 
thousand and sixty dollars. At the last annual session one 
hundred deaths were pending, amounting to thirteen thou- 
sand nine hundred and fifty-eight dollars and fifty cents, mak- 
ing a grand total during the year of one thousand one hun- 
dred and ninety-four deaths ; the claim amounting to one hun- 
dred and fifty-eight thousand and thirteen dollars and fifty 
cents. Checks were issued in payment of all these claims in 
full to date. Of these checks, there were presented to the Bank 
and cashed, one hundred and thirty-nine thousand four hun- 
dred and twenty-three dollars and eighty-seven cents, leaving 
in Bank to the credit of these claims twenty thousand five 
hundred and eighty-nine dollars and sixty-three cents. The 
total balance in Bank to the credit of the Mortuary fund for 
the twelve months, ending August 25th, was forty-two thou- 
sand and ninety-six dollars and thirty cents. If every check 
written against this account had been presented for payment, 
there would then have been a balance to the Mortuary fund 
of twenty-one thousand fire hundred and six dollars and sixty- 
seven cents, or twelve and four-hundredths per cent, of the 
total amount collected during the year. This twelve and four- 
hundredths per cent, represents what would be called in any 
organization other than a fraternal society the Reserve fund 
for the protection of the outstanding policies. From this cal- 
culation may be seen that there is not such an immense balance 
left from the Mortuary fund each year as many would sup- 







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Edward Ellis, Jr. (welcome) : "We bid you welcome, be- 
cause this year, in keeping with a progressive age, has brought 
to the Brotherhood greater results, greater accomplishments, 
with the aid and unbounded blessings of God; and because, 
by the sweat of your brow and labor of your hands, we have 
been blessed to be fully able, after twenty-four years of hard- 
ship, to boast of the greatest institution owned and managed 
by our Race. Yes, this mammoth affair is worthy of your 
commendation. It stands as a wall of jasper in high praise 
to its founder, William Washington Browne, and is a modern 
Mizpah, upon which is placed our faithful watchman and 
worthy successor to our illustrious William Washington 
Browne — William Lee Taylor — whose intelligence, sagacity, 
dignity and self-respecting independence will gain for him 
honor and respect for all time; and because of this great 
Brotherhood, which we are to exalt in public estimation in the 
highest possible degree, which must be transmitted to our pos- 
terity as an evidence of the true greatness of their forefathers. 

"We welcome you because of the greatness of the Brother- 
hood in Richmond, which is the result, not of jealous war, but 
of domestic peace. Let us glory in everything that indicates 
peace and prosperity, as an index of future success to all that 
pertains to the Brotherhood." 

R. L. Oliver (response) : "I am pleased to note that the 
colored people of Richmond are engaged in all kinds of busi- 
ness and own thousands of beautiful homes, representing 
thousands and thousands of dollars. This magnificent struc- 
ture, the General Office of this great Negro institution, giving 
employment to hundreds of the girls and boys, paying to them 
thousands of dollars; and the first successful Negro Bank of 
this country, having handled eleven million dollars since its 
beginning, are situated in this building. And many other 
important features that time would not permit me to mention 
just here; but it is here for your inspection, and let us pray 


that it may continue to stand and do good for the present and 
for the generations }^et unborn." - 

\Ve come now to note some of the occurrences of the year 
which completed the first twenty-five years history of the 
Grand Fountain. In this quarter of a century the Negro has 
learned much. Many of the men and women who had worked 
for and received their business training and knowledge of 
insurance from the True Reformers had "gone to housekeep- 
ing" 1 for themselves. Many losing their places or quitting of 
their own accord the services of the True Reformers, would 
set up for themselves or accept lucrative positions with com- 
panies who would-be glad to profit by their schooling in this 
new science. Having served as an apprentice, each would be 
a valuable asset to a new concern. 

Again. Negro organizations have profited by the experience 
of the True Reformers. When this organization came into the 
fraternal and industrial world, there were few fraternal in- 
surance laws; no restrictions. As a matter of fact, there were 
no Xegro insurance societies, and fraternal societies among 
them meant little, as compared with what they mean now. 
Therefore, the laws, while new and startling, were simple in 
the extreme; but, as the society grew, it must needs adapt itself 
to this larger growth and to the development of the insurance 
legislation. Many wild-cat schemes of fraud, pure and sim- 
ple, were inaugurated for the purpose of fleecing the people, 
under the guise of fraternal insurance. Laws were made to 
contravene them and consequently, many of the simple laAvs 
of the True Reformers, which served well at first, had to be 
changed to conform to those restrictions prepared by the most 
astute business minds of this nation's legislators. In the face 
of the fact that the rank and file, and even its leaders, were 
not lawyers, their laws were not far from the line marked out 
by those of the States, because these laws, from the first, had 
for their motive honest helpfulness, not based on intentional 
fraud. But still some difficulty was had, and probably more 
will come, to adjust the fundamental objects of the Organiza- 

Petersburg, Va. 


tion to the heights and intricacies of the ever-evolving insur- 
ance legislation of the land, because the least change of law 
affects so great a mass of members, and many of them are 
not only conservative, but suspicious; hence the road to exact 
adjustment is not an easy one. If too suddenly done, or too 
radical in nature, that law must not only meet and overcome 
the natural inertia of a conservative people, but must stand 
the unjust innuendoes (if not worse) of those who would profit 
by dissatisfaction among the True Reformers. The wonder is 
that the Organization has even lived to complete its Twenty- 
Five Years of History. 

It must now compete not only with colored companies who 
have adopted some of its features, but with the best trained 
agents of the strongest organizations of the whites, who are 
fighting for the same field, with insurance companies which 
have no bank, witli banks which have no mercantile depart- 
ment, with mercantile establishments which have no real estate 
department, with real estate departments which have no re- 
galia department, with newspaper companies which are not 
fostering Old Folk's TTomcs. must this multiform or these 
much-chartered organizations under the direction of the Grand 
Fountain compete. Each business is not only separate, but is 
chartered and designed to be self-supporting. Is this not a 
problem whose solution would tax the minds of the most 
favored race? But founded in honesty and fostered by love 
of race, it has stood, like a rock, the dashing waves of com- 

The necessity of the work has not been more diversification 
of interests, but concentration upon existing interests and con- 
servation of growing interests. Gigantic have been the re- 
quirements of officers and directors, and the steady growth 
from year to year has been but little less than miraculous. The 
members have confidently stood by their leaders in the Her- 
culean efforts to profit by every change of the True Reform- 
ers' law to meet the exigencies in its own affairs or to conform 
to those made bv the -State. 


So perfectly worked the delicate, though perfect, machine- 
ry, that, without detriment to the interests of the Order, the 
Grand Worthy Master, Dr. W. L. Taylor, took a much needed 
vacation in Europe. The Vice-Grand Worthy Master, Ed- 
ward Ellis, Jr., and the Grand Worthy Secretary, W. P. Bur- 
rell, directed affairs in his absence. His trip to attend the 
World's Baptist Congress in London, England, was profitable 
in every way — for his own instruction and inspiration and to 
make known through that world-wide, representative body, the 
existence and work of the True Reformers. 

So much for perfect organization, although the business is 
such as seemingly to require the personal attention of its head 
(it had up to this year had it) , yet there was not a complaint 
or a hitch in its work during the time. 

The increase of the Organization was nearly as great as 
last year, and in some departments it was greater. In the 
Fountain department, eight hundred and eighty-four more 
members entered than during the past year, Class B had nine- 
teen more new members, and Class M had nineteen more new 
members. In the Rosebuds there was a falling off in the num- 
ber of new members by one thousand one hundred and forty- 
eight, and in Class E there was a decrease of seventy-three 
new members. 

The number of new policies written in the Fountain depart- 
ment was nine thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine; in 
the Rosebud, seven thousand four hundred and fifty-seven ; in 
the Classes, six hundred and sixty-two, making a total of eigh- 
teen thousand and eighteen new members. 

The Real Estate department receipts amounted to thirty- 
three thousand three hundred and thirteen dollars and eighty- 
five cents, including thirty thousand and four hundred dollars 
and eighty-three cents rent for property. Its total assets were 
four hundred and twenty-nine thousand nine hundred and 
forty-one dollars and two cents. 

The amount disbursed was eight hundred and sixty-five 



thousand eight hundred and eighty-six dollars and fifty-four 

The total amount of business to date was thirteen million 

Captain B. A. GRAVES. 
Business Manager Reformer Department, Richmond, Va. 

two hundred and four thousand one hundred and eighty-seven 
dollars and sixty-seven cents. 


The dividends paid amounted to nineteen thousand one hun- 
dred and forty-two dollars. The cash balance was forty-eight 
thousand one hundred and seventy-five dollars and thirty-two 
cents; and all other departments had each equally as prosper- 
ous a year. 

The Organization had, up to the launching of the building at 
Washington, D. C, paid regularly on the purchase of the 
"Plans, " to the amount of twenty-nine thousand five hundred 
dollars. Owing to the amount of cash needed in the erection 
of this building, the payments were suspended for the time 
being. In the meanwhile the directors were notified by the 
commissioner of the District of Columbia that an examination 
of the records was needed before they could go further. Dur- 
ing this examination it was discovered that the Order had 
paid the above amount — twenty-nine thousand five hundred 
dollars — to Mrs. M. A. Browne Smith on the "Plans." This 
payment was questioned by the Commissioner of Insurance, 
who said that the Order had violated its charter right in pay- 
ing said amount, and the officials were restricted by him from 
paying any more until he made a thorough investigation. On 
March 3d last, the license to do business in the District was 
granted, with restrictions forbidding the officers to use any of 
the funds of the Grand Fountain in paying for the purchase 
of the "Plans." The Grand Fountain appointed a special 
committee to co-operate with the Executive Committee, with 
full power to take the matter up and dispose of it to the best 
advantage and for the satisfaction of all parties concerned. 

Was ever accomplishment more wonderful? The world 
saw in twenty-five years the Grand Fountain increase from 
four Fountains, in January, 1881, to two thousand four hun- 
dred and thirty-seven, in September, 1905; two additional de- 
partments, the Rosebud and Classes, instituted in 1885; one 
Rosebud Fountain in Richmond had increased to nine hundred 
and twenty-two, having fifteen thousand benefited children; 
and the Class department consisted of Classes B, E and M, 


numbering five thousand three hundred and sixty-five mem- 

The following extracts from the welcome address of W. P. 
Burrell, September, 1905, are interesting: 

In 1881, when Richmond people adopted William W. 
Browne as their own, he brought only promises, but he said, 
'If you will unite with me and help me as I direct, these 
promises will be developed into glorious realities.' As a re- 
sult of those promises, we find that in a twenty-five years' 
journey, although eight thousand four hundred and forty- four 
members have been laid beneath the sod, to relieve the dis- 
tressed ones, the Grand Fountain has paid one million one 
hundred and thirty-seven thousand seven hundred and four 
dollars and eighty-five cents; and not only in cases of death 
has assistance been rendered, but over tAvo millions of dollars 
have been paid to assist the sick and afflicted. When he 
founded the Classes, it was his purpose, from the surplus 
funds of that department to conduct business enterprises, so 
that as early as 1885 he called this department 'The Business 
Department of the Organization.' 

"The first circle of Class members was organized in Rich- 
mond, Va., where the people paid their money on faith, be- 
lieving that what W. W. Browne promised would come to 

"In 1887 there was a lynching at Drake's Branch, Va., and 
the lynching of this poor colored man led to the desire to break 
up the Organization in that place, and it gave Mr. W. H. 
Grant, of Mossingford, the chance to suggest that the colored 
people ought to have a bank of their own. Rev. Browne ac- 
cepted the idea, and from this suggestion grew the Savings 
Bank of the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True 
Reformers. This was truly a case where the wrath of man 
was turned to the glory of God. See the result to the Order 
of this Bank, with ten thousand depositors, and with three 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars of Negroes' money on de- 
posit, and over twenty-five other banks originating in this 








country as the result of the organization of this Bank. We 
thank God for the lynching of this poor colored man at 
Drake's Branch, for in his death he did more for the Negro 
Race than he could have done had he lived a hundred years. 

"The first piece of property bought by the Grand Fountain 
was the Centralia Mills, situated in Chesterfield county. This 
was the nest-egg of the Real Estate department. That nest- 
egg became the center of a great nest of thirty-five pieces of 
property owned by the various departments of the Grand 
Fountain, valued at more than four hundred thousand dollars. 

"In 1892 Rev. W. W. Browne established what was known as 
the Bureau of Information, and inaugurated The Reformer, 
which was to be the headlight of the Brotherhood, to give 
them the news from member to member, from Fountain to 
Fountain, and from State to State. From the little paper, 
published once in two months, with one hundred on the sub- 
scription list, it grew into one of the greatest weeklies in this 
country, with a circulation of ten thousand. 

"In 1893 he discovered that all that had been done was for 
the direct benefit of the young members of the Race. The 
poor, old people of the land had no homes; and he said, 'Let 
us establish homes for the old people,' and in this connection 
he suggested that the Order buy farms of good land, and when 
a sufficient amount of land is selected for the location of the 
Homes,, subdivide the remainder into lots, and sell them for 
settlements, and with the money thus realized from these lots 
endow the Home. 

"There was one great peculiarity about this man, and that 
was, he never recommended anything to be done without, at 
the same time, recommending the means by which it could be 

"In 1894, he planned rallies to be held in Richmond and 
other parts of the country, for the carrying out of the idea. 
These rallies were held from year" to. year, until 1897, the sum 
of nearly five thousand dollars having been collected, he pur- 
chased Westhani Tarm property and deeded "it to the i Old 


Folk's Homes department of the Grand Fountain, United 
Order of True Reformers. 

"Seventeen years of the quarter century passed under the 
guiding hand of Rev. W. W. Browne; then Eev. William L. 
Taylor, the present Grand Worthy Master, was called upon 
to take hold of the reins of government. Under his adminis- 
tration the Order grew from thirty thousand to nearly eighty 
thousand benefited members. 

"In 1899, Rev. Taylor recommended that a charter be se- 
cured for the Mercantile and Industrial department of the 
Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, an organi- 
zation which increased to five stores, which did a business of 
thousands of dollars, and which has been an incentive to the 
Negroes the world over to go into business. The time was 
now ripe for the establishing of the settlements and the selling 
of the lots for the Old Folk's Homes; and, upon the recom- 
mendation of Rev. W. L. Taylor, Browneville was established, 
and about two hundred acres were cut up into building lots 
and sold to the Brotherhood. The Old Folk's Homes is no 
longer a thing on paper; it is no longer a promised Home, but 
it is the happy home of a good number of old people, who, 
without its protection and shelter, would be inmates of the 
almshouse. The Westham Farm developed into a thing of 
beauty. And now, as we start on the second quarter of a cen- 
tury of the institution of the Grand Fountain, let each one 
put his shoulder to the wheel, having one object in view, and 
that the great haven of success." 


W. P. Burrell (welcome) : "It is possibly fitting that I 
should be called upon to welcome yo,u on this great and grand 
occasion, because, as you can see, I am the oldest living True 
Reformer. When you note my extreme youth, then you are 
reminded that while the True Reformers is the greatest Or- 



ganization of the country, it is yet in swaddling clothes, and 
no one dare say to what size it is yet to grow. It is also fitting 
that this great session should be here in Richmond, Va., the 

Chief, Decatur, 111. 

birthplace of True Reformerism, as exemplified by William 
W. Browne. There are few in this audience to-night who 


knew William W. Browne twenty-five years ago, when he 
came to Virginia from his distant home in Alabama, for the 
purpose of laying the foundation for this great Organization, 
which was destined to teach the Negro the benefit of co-opera- 
tion, combination and concentration. It was thought by organ- 
izers, and even by friends of the Negro, that it was impossible 
for it to be effectively organized. After trying his fortune 
as an organizer in Alabama for a number of years, the noble 
founder of this great work turned his attention to Virginia, 
the home of his parents. Here he found, in the hearts of the 
people of Richmond, that reception and that confidence which 
he failed to find in his native home in Georgia and Alabama." 

J. H. Trimble (response) : "If you should go to Eichmond, 
the question would be asked, 'Are you a True Reformer?' 
This historic city on the James, picturesquely situated upon 
the Gamble's, Shockoe and Church Hills, surrounded by such 
beautiful, natural scenery, is the birthplace of True Reform- 
erism, and True Reformerism has assimilated into the social, 
civil, political and business life of this Confederate capital. 
Though this grand Organization was born in this city, it is 
no longer confined to this side of the Appalachians, but she 
has arisen from her bed and has erected the light of True Re- 
formerism upon the western plains, upon the banks of the 
Father of Waters, and high upon the crags of the Rockies." 

Mrs. Eliza Allen, Grand Worthy Governess (to Rosebuds) : 
"You have been coming here for twenty-five years, and have 
seen this poor, feeble frame, and you would have wondered 
had I gone back. I have been standing here for twenty-five 
years, and I want to say that if I had twenty-five years more 
to give, I would spend it in True Reformerism. My strength 
is failing, but I do hope that you will still hold up this flag 
and still march. To the Rosebud children, I will say to you, 
obey your officers and those in authority over you. I pray 
God's blessing upon the entire Order." 

Rev. W. L. Taylor, Grand Worthy Master: "I am indeed 
proud of the Grand Fountain for more than one reason. First, 


it has taught us the lesson and value of small things ; second, 
it is the Negroes' protection ; third, it is serving the real inter- 
est of the Negro Race ; fourth, it is unselfish and has allowed 
some of its members to come into the Order and school rooms 
and learn its plans and go out and take another name and use 
them; but if they say nothing against us, we will say nothing 
against them." 



Grand Worthy Master Rev. W. L. Taylor, D. D. 

Grand Worthy Vice-Master Edw T ard Ellis, Jr. 

Grand Worthy Mistress Mrs. Rosa Thompson 

Grand Worthy Secretary W. P. Burrell 

Grand Worthy Chaplain Rev. J. T. Carpenter 

Grand Worthy Treasurer R. T. Hill 

Grand Worthy Guide J. H. Nutt 

Grand Worthy A. Guide Mrs. L. D. Hodge 

Grand Worthy Sentinel Captain Willis 

Grand Worthy P. G M. T. Bailey 

Grand Worthy R. IT J. H. M. Taylor 

Grand Worthy L. H N. B. Oxley 

Board of Directors. 

W. L. Taylor, Edward Ellis. Jr.. Rosa Thompson, W. P. 
Burrell, R. T. Hill, J. T. Carpenter, W. L. Anderson, A. W. 
Truehart, James Allen, B. W. Rivers, A. W. Holmes, J. L. 
Cohron, J. S. Smothers, J. C. Robertson and R. L. Oliver. 

Rosebud Board of Managers. 

Rev. W. L. Taylor, D. D., Mrs. Eliza Allen, Mrs. F. H. 
James, W. P. Burrell. 


"The tale is told." The events which this volume is intended 
particularly to record have been history for more than three 



years. In August of this year (1909), the Brotherhood will 
celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the granting of the 
charter to the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True 
Keformers. Though much amended since then, that original 
document is to the Order what the Constitution of the United 
States is to this nation, which has had fifteen amendments 
added to it, and thousands of acts and resolutions have been 
heaped upon it in the continuous attempts to explain or modify 

Chief of Records, 1898, Manchester, Va. 

Chief Regalia, Richmond, Va. 

it. They both alike are "Bills of Rights and Privileges," be- 
gotten of the necessity of the hour, and inspired by honesty 
and justice. And, cover them as you may, by enactments, they 
will remain the germs of the organizations to which they 
respectively gave birth. And the nearer all legislation ap- 
proaches the original, the closer it will conserve the betterment 
of the beneficiaries. 

As the United States was a unit by federation and began 
its life and labor of developing free men, so the True Reform- 
ers was an Organization and began its labor of developing the 


Negro more than three years before the granting of the char- 
ter. These later years belong to another epoch, and it re- 
mains for another, who will not be too old twenty-two years 
from now, to tell the story of the second twenty-five years of 
development of the Order. May he, untrammeled by time 
or any other creature of circumstance, tell the story to your 
children; and may the Order, upon whose altar of success so 
many noble lives have been so freely laid, live and expand, so 
that its Golden Jubilee will be as far ahead of the present 
accomplishment as this epoch is ahead of the founding of the 

It only remains for us to chronicle a few salient happenings 
of the period intervening between the closing year of the first 
quarter century of the Order and the present; and to state 
the present condition thereof. The most important event was 
the re-election of Dr. W. L. Taylor as Grand Worthy Master 
by the annual session at Eichmond, Va., September, 1906, for 
another term of four years. 

At the annual session of 1908 there was reported as follows : 

Number of new policies written for the year 18,110 

Total Senior Fountains enrolled 2,923 

Total Rosebuds enrolled 1,305 

Messengers 1,495 

Benefited members in Class B 3,388 

Benefited members in Class E 2,302 

Benefited members in Class M 57 

Amount paid on death claims $143,437.57 

Receipts and balance to credit of all departments, 475,919 . 83 

Amount disbursed by all departments 365,246.48 

Balance to credit of all departments $110,673.35 



Bank receipts from all sources for the year $ 977,808.52 

Balance from last year 86,401 .33 

Total $1,064,209.85 

Disbursed for the year 1,026,700 . 62 

True balance $ 37,509.23 

Total business to date $18,937,538 . 12 

And finally, the Savings Bank. This venture being* the first 
among Negroes, was considered risky, and much apprehension 
was expressed ; many said it was really unwise. Some consid- 
ered it a huge joke; as an evidence, Rev. Browne was asked if 
he were going to open an ash-bank, and he replied that he 
knew more about an ash-bank than any other, but there was 
no reason why he should not get an introduction to a money- 
bank. The success attending the "money-bank" shows the 
wisdom of the enterprise. The steady and permanent growth 
of the Bank is further shown by the following statement : 

Deposits for the year 1890 $ 9,811.28 

Deposits for the year 1891. 55,937.70 

Deposits for the year 1892 79,052.79 

Deposits for the year 1893 108,205 . 98 

Deposits for the year 1894 162,433 . 32 

Deposits for the year 1895 281,981 . 86 

Deposits for the year 1896 . 345,952 . 91 

Deposits for the year 1897 343,667.94 

Deposits for the year 1898 327,874.36 

Deposits for the year 1899 388,271 . 23 

Deposits for the year 1900 537,644 . 82 

Deposits for the year 1901 708,411 .48 

Deposits for the year 1902 796,099 . 91 

Deposits for the year 1903 853,591.53 

St. Louis, Mo. 


Deposits for the year 1904 808,759.53 

Deposits for the year 1905. 807,995.17 

Deposits for the year 1906 873,492 . 95 

Deposits for the year 1907 1,008,996.40 

Deposits for the year 1908 977,808.52 

September, 1908, to April 30, 1909 609,744.54 

Total $10,099,734.22 

In classification of the depositors, the record shows that 
there was handled for the 

Grand Fountain $ 3,738,174.08 

Subordinate Fountains 504,583 . 94 

Rosebud Nursery 37,927.71 

Individuals 3,249,330.65 

Societies 721,561.24 

Loans 289,234.15 

Other sources , 41,997.99 

Clubs 127,744.33 

Amount of receipts before division of deposits, 1,389,180.13 

Total $10,099,734.22 

When all other business is added to the deposits as shown 
above, there appears the magnificent showing of twenty mil- 
lion one hundred and sixty thousand six hundred and seventy- 
nine dollars, an average of more than one million a year. 
During the life of the Bank there have been seventeen thou- 
sand eight hundred and ninety-two individual depositors, in- 
cluding merchants ; three thousand three hundred and eighty- 
one Fountain deposits; nine hundred and ten Rosebud Nurse- 
ries; one thousand nine hundred and seventy-one societies, 
consisting of churches, Sunday-schools, insurance companies, 
lodges, and all other organizations other than the Grand Foun- 
tain, besides three thousand five hundred and seventy-four 
clubs (this latter item means organizations in course of prepa- 


ration for Subordinate branches), making a total of twenty- 
seven thousand seven hundred and fifty-eight depositors that 
have been handled since the Bank opened. 

During the twenty }^ears of its existence, this Bank has con- 
stantly stood in the forefront of public confidence. The fidelity 
with which the officers have managed the great interests in 
their hands for the benefit of the whole body of depositors and 
the community, and the fact that all demands upon it have 
always been duly and promptly met, has enabled this Bank to 
acquire and retain the just confidence of the public. 




The General Offices ©f the Grand Fountain have been grad- 
ually developed, according as circumstances demanded. In 
January, 1881, when Mr. William W. Browne started the work 
for the Grand Fountain, he had associated with him, a boy 
in the person of W. P. Burrell, who acted as his private sec- 
retary and man-of-all work. The work of the Organization 
at that time did not require the services of a clerk or secretary 
one hour out of tAventy-four. R. O. King was the first Grand 
Secretary after the reorganization of the Grand Fountain, 
and he was succeeded in a short time by J. O. Vaughn; and, 
at the first annual session, held in September, 1881, P. H. 
Woolfolk, one of the founders of the Virginia Star, was 
elected Grand Secretary. On account of the limited amount 
of work to be done, this appointment for a long time was 
merely nominal, and the greater part of the work was per- 
formed by William W. Browne, with the assistance of W. P. 
Burrell. At the session of 1883, held at Petersburg, Va., 
W. P. Burrell was elected Grand Worthy Assistant Secretary, 
while P. H. Woolfolk was elected Grand Worthy Secretary. 
The position stood thus until May, 1884, at which time W. P. 
Burrell was appointed Grand Worthy Secretary, to fill the 
unexpired term of P. H. Woolfolk, who was granted a leave 
of absence for an indefinite time. In September, 1884, W. P. 
Burrell was elected Grand Worthy Secretary, Allen J. Harris 
was elected Assistant Secretary, and W. L. Vanderval, of 
Fredericksburg, Va., was elected Corresponding Secretary. 



First Vice-Chief, Washington, D. C. 


The work of the Organization had grown apace, and it became 
necessary to have some settled place for the keeping of the 
records, and this place was found at the residence of Rev. 
William W. Browne, the Grand Worthy Master. At Wash- 
ington, D. G, in 1885, it was ordered that a regular office be 
maintained for the Grand Fountain, where all of its works 
could be kept in quarters controlled by the Grand Fountain. 
A room at 105 W. Jackson street was rented for this purpose. 
This room was fitted up at a cost of twenty-five dollars, and 
W. P. Burrell occupied it about three hours each day. Be- 
ginning September, 1886, it was found necessary to keep the 
office open at all times, and so Mrs. L. B. Smith, Grand 
Worthy Assistant Secretary, and Mrs. M. E. Burrell were 
installed as clerks. The work was run by these three persons 
until 1889, when an Accountant was added, in the person of 
Professor A. V. Norrell. Occasionally assistance was ren- 
dered by Miss V. C. Proctor and Mr. George Stephens, Jr. 
In 1890, Mrs. L. B. Smith died, and Mr. Miles B. Jones en- 
tered the office force, and soon thereafter, Miss L. P. James, 
of Washington, D. G, was appointed a clerk in the office. 
This force continued, with various minor additions from time 
to time, until 1892, when the Rosebud department was re- 
moved from Petersbitrg, Va., and Mrs. M. A. Berry was added 
to the office force. 

In 1893, the work of the office had assumed such volume 
that it became necessary to subdivide the work into depart- 
ments ; these departments were known as the Finance depart- 
ment, the Supply department, the Record department, the Re- 
galia department, and the Correspondence department. In 
later years the Correspondence department was subdivided 
into the Corresponence department and the General Business 
department. The few clerks have grown and increased until 
we are able to present in this volume the pictures of scores of 
clerks, who are at present employed in the General Offices of 
the Grand Fountain, preserving the records made by the 
Brotherhood from time to time. 


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For the purpose of this History, it will not be necessary to 
take up in detail the history of these various departments, 
but we shall give in brief their organization at the present 

In 1893, the Real Estate department was formed, and later 
The Reformer and the Old Folk's Homes departments. These 
are not departments of the Grand Worthy Secretary's office, 
but are separate and distinct, the Real Estate department being 
a subdivision of the Banking department, while The Reformer 
department is a subdivision of the Reformer's Mercantile de- 


The Finance department, which is a department receiving 
all of the mail and correspondence of the Grand Worthy Sec- 
retary, keeps a record of the Mortuary and Expense funds of 
the Subordinate Fountains and the Rosebuds, was formed in 
1892, with Dr. Miles B. Jones as Chief. He resigned in 1897 
to study medicine, and Mrs. V. H. W. Giles, a member of 
Fountain No. 643, Springfield, Mass., was made Chief of this 
department, and has general supervision over it. Mrs. Giles 
has been an active member of the Organization, serving at 
one time as Rosebud Lecturer and Deputy on the field. She 
is a member of Classes B and E, Circle No. 436. She joined 
the Organization in 1894. 

Mrs. L. L. Stanard, the Assistant Chief of the Finance de- 
partment, is a member of Progressive Fountain, No. 227, 
Richmond, Va., and B Class, Circle No. 122, and has been a 
member since April, 1892. 

Miss Alice M. Brown, Order Clerk, is a member of King 
Solomon Fountain and of Class B, Circle No. 9. She joined 
the Fountain in 1898. 

Miss Bessie E. Brown, Bookkeeper, has been a member of 
King Solomon Fountain, No. 7, since 1891, and Class B, Circle 
No. 1, since 1895. 

Miss Christine E. West, who has been a member of Finance 


Fountain, No. 2399, since 1906, is Typist and Investigating 

Miss Lillie B. Fox, Assistant Order Clerk, has been a mem- 
ber of Twilight Fountain, No. 193, since 1905, and a member 
of Class B, Circle No. 104, since 1907. 

Miss Mary A. Grymes, Assistant Bookkeeper, has been a 
member of Fountain No. 2711 and Class B, Circle No. 1261, 
since 1907. 

Miss Eva L. Jasper, Miscellaneous Clerk, has been a mem- 
ber of Fountain No. 2399 and Class B, Circle No. 1398, since 

Mr. Britton E. Williams, Hampton, Va., File and Miscel- 
laneous Clerk, has been a member of Humility Fountain, No. 
769, since 1895, and Class B, Circle No. 612, since 1901. 

Miss Addie L. Phillips, Assistant Typist and Miscellaneous 
Clerk, has been a member of Fountain No. 1318 and Class B, 
Circle No. 9, since 1908. 


As the work of the Organization grew from time to time, it 
became necessary to change from the old book records, in 
which the name of each individual member was kept, to a 
card record, where every member of the Fountain and Rose- 
bud department has his own individual card, on which is 
inserted monthly his payments. This work, for a time, was 
kept in the Finance department, under the supervision of that 
Chief, but as the work grew and the Organization spread, it 
became necessary to remove the Card Clerks from the Finance 
department and give them a separate and individual location. 
There are over one hundred and fifty thousand cards which 
are looked after and under the supervision of this department. 
On account of the newness of this work and its close alliance 
to the Finance department, it has not been thought advisable 
to cut them off from the Finance department, so it has been 
nominally known as Subdivision of Finance, with Mrs. Lucy 
J. Ovelton, Chief Clerk, in charge. Mrs. Ovelton has been a 




Bedford City, Va. 


member of Fidelity Fountain, No. 100, since 1898, and Class 
B, Circle No. 33, since 1905. 

Mrs. Emma J. Ware, Assistant Chief Clerk, has been a 
member of Fidelity Fountain, No. 100, since 1893, and a mem- 
ber of Class B, Circle No. 9, since 1905. 

Miss Mary E. Hendley, of Dover Mines, Va., has beeri a 
member of Dover Mines Fountain, No. 180, since 1902, and 
Class B, Circle No. 9, since 1905. 

Rev. W. L. Taylor, Jr., of Ashland, Va., File Clerk, has 
been a member of Little River Fountain, No. 540, since 1894, 
and Class B, Circle No. 9, since 1904. 

Miss Celestine Scott has been a member of Office Force 
Fountain, No. 2439, since 190T, and a member of Class B, 
Circle No. 33, since 1907. 

Miss Emma L. Bailey has been a member of Silver Stream 
Fountain, No. 2, since 1906, and a member of Class B, Circle 
No. 10, since 1907. 

Mrs. Anna B. Davis has been a member of Unity Fountain, 
No. 738, since 1906, and Class B, Circle No. 121, since 1907. 

Miss Mary E. Scott has been a member of Fidelity Foun- 
tain, No. 100, since 1906, and Class B, Circle No. 33, since 1907. 

Miss Ella Richardson, of Cool Well, Va., Stenographer, has 
been a member of Wonderful Fountain, No. 2176, since 1904, 
and Class E, Circle No. 1259, since 1905. 

Miss C. Blanche Haynie, of Northumberland county, Va., 
has been a member of Avalon Fountain, No. 1085, since 1904, 
and Class B, Circle No. 736, since 1908. 

Miss Emma Q. Brown has been a member of Endymion 
Fountain, No. 1318, since 1900, and Class B, Circle No. 9, 
since 1905. 

Miss Eugertha Johnson has been a member of Fidelity 
Fountain, No. 100, since 1902, and Class B, Circle No. 33, 
since 1906. 

Miss Lillian E. Williams has been a member of Finance 
Fountain, No. 2399, since 1905, and Class B, Circle No. 1398, 
since 1906. 


Miss Ascelena C. Kempt has been a member of Office Force 
Fountain, No. 2439, since 1907, and Class B, Circle No. 1030, 
for the same time. 

Miss Bertha Hudson has been a member of Supreme Foun- 
tain, No. 2503, since 1906, and Class B, Circle No. 1421, for 
the same time. 

Miss Lucy G. Bailey, Harmony, Va., has been a member 
of Finance Fountain, No. 2399, since 1907, and Class B, Circle 
No. 1457, for the same time. 


The Record department is one of the original departments 
of the Organization, as has been stated, and during the six- 
teen years of its existence it has .had three Chiefs — Mrs. M. A. 
Berry, Miss Eva Armstead and Miss Cora Thompson. In 
this department the records of Classes B, E and M are kept 
in a card system, similar to that of the Card department. 

Miss Cora L. Thompson, Chief, is a member of East End 
Fountain, No. 108. She has been a member since 1892, and 
Class B, Circle No. 28, since 1897. 

Mrs. Julia E. Cousins, Assistant Chief, has been a member 
of St. Thomas Fountain, No. 77, Manchester, Va., since 1893, 
and Class B, Circle No. 54, since 1897. 

Mrs. America Hill has been a member of King Solomon 
Fountain, No. 7, since 1896, and Class B, Circle No. 9, since 

Miss Maggie E. Stewart, of Ruther Glen, Va., has been a 
member of Virginia Fountain, No. 69, since 1899, and Class B, 
Circle No. 9, since 1905. ' 

Miss A. Gustavus Wilkinson, Lynchburg, Va., has been a 
member of Pocahontas Fountain, No. 534, since 1900, and 
Class B, Circle No. 483, since 1904. 

Miss Sarah F. Ferrell, Taylorsville, Va., has been a mem- 
ber of Little River Fountain, No. 540, since 1897, and Class B, 
Circle No. 9, since 1905. 

Miss Mayme A. Neal, South River, Md., has been a member 

Mr. J. W. Penn. Durham, N, C. Mr. Joseph Walker, Fredericksburg, Va. 

Mr. C. F. Griffin, Wilmington, Del. 
Mr. O. S. Fox, Cleveland, O. Mr. G. M.Miller. Keidsville, N. C. 


of Hand-in-Hand Fountain, No. 2659, since 1907, and Class 
B, Circle No. 1429, since 1908. 


The Supply department was organized in 1893, and has 
had two Chiefs, in the person of Mrs. Lotta James Holloway 
and Mrs. M. J. Williams. This department has charge of all 
of the supplies of the Brotherhood, issues all policies, charters 
and works of every character, prepares the card records for 
both the Record and Card departments. 

Mrs. L. P. James Holloway, of Washington, D. C, Chief in 
charge, has been a member of Jerusalem Fountain, No. 164, 
since 1890, and Class B, Circle No. 157, since 1890. 

Miss Kate E. Bagby, Assistant Chief of the Supply depart- 
ment, has been a member of Gethsemane Fountain, No. 160, 
since 1898, and Class B, Circle No. 9, since 1905. 

Mrs. Hattie C. Lightfoot has been a member of Christian 
Workers Fountain, No. 762, since 1902, and Class B, Circle 
No. 9, since 1905. 

Miss Marie E. Moore, Danville, Va., has been a member of 
North Union Fountain, No. 696, since 1906, and Class B, 
Circle No. 562, since 1907. 

Miss Anna B. Giles has been a member of King Solomon 
Fountain, No. 7, since 1903, and Class B, Circle No. 1, since 

Miss Alice E. Smith has been a member of Endymion Foun- 
tain, No. 1318, since 1900, and Class B, Circle No. 9, since 1905. 

Mr. Bradford S. Johnson, Detroit, Mich., has been a mem- 
ber of Detroit Fountain, No. 2398, since 1905, and Class B, 
Circle No. 9, since 1909. 

Miss Lois H. Nelson has been a member of Unity Foun- 
tain, No. 738, since 1905, and Class B, Circle No. 9, since 1905. 

Miss Maud L. Quarles has been a member of Star of Bethle- 
hem Fountain, No. 99, and Class B, Circle No. 16, since 1906 
and 1908, respectively. 

Mr. Ernest D. Law, Glen Jean, W. Va., has been a member 


of R. J. Perkins Fountain, No. 2850, since March, 1909, and 
Class B, Circle No. 749, since April, 1909. 

Miss Lula A. Branham, Montgomery, W. Va., has been a 
member of Kanawha Banner Fountain, No. 1410, since April, 
1909, and Class B, Circle No. 1200, for the same time. 

Miss Sarah J. Reese, Olo, Va., has been a member of Heal- 
ing Stream Fountain, No. 122, since January, 1909, and Class 
B, Circle No. 23, for the same time. 

Mr. David D. Alexander, Charlottesville, Va., has been a 
member of Etelka Fountain, No. 1448, since July, 1909, and 
Class B, Circle No. 933, since July, 1909. 

Miss Marietta L. Austin, Washington, D. C, has been a 
member of Ledroit Fountain, No. 1393, since 1908, and Class 
B, Circle No. 190, since January, 1909. 

Master Rexford F. Ovelton has been a member of Fidelity 
Rosebud, No. 54, since 1906. 

Miss Ruth F. Loundes has been a member of Unity Rose- 
bud, No. 896, since 1906. 

Mr. James Reese, Storekeeper, has been a member of Ivy 
Leaf Fountain, No. 219, since August, 1902, and Classes B 
and E since 1905. 


The Correspondence department was organized in 1893, 
and was for a time under the immediate supervision of the 
Grand Worthy Secretary. Since that time it has had as 
Chiefs, Mr. George S. Dabney, now a stenographer in the 
Navy Department, Boston, Mass. ; Mr. R. J. Kyles, now 
stenographer at the Navy Department, Norfolk, Va. ; Mr. 
John H. Logan, Chief Mail Clerk on one of the most impor- 
tant postal railway divisions of Virginia, and Mrs. M. E. 
Storrs. Mrs. Storrs was succeeded by Mr. John R. Thompson, 
who was for a long time Assistant Chief of Supply depart- 
ment. This department for a long time had charge of all of 
the mail of the General Offices, all letters and supplies of every 
kind from all departments were sent through the Correspon- 






gSb' ^^ 






Teller, Reformer's Rank. Richmond, Va. 

Bank Stenographer, Lynchburg, Va 

Deputy, Louisville, Ky. 

Secretary, Washington, D. C. 


dence department, and all letters and papers that were to be 
filed, were filed here. In 1907 this plan was changed, and the 
work of the department was simplified. "The mailing of all 
letters and correspondence from the various departments was 
transferred to the different departments, and now the Cor- 
respondence department has charge of all the monthly report 
sheets, letters and packages from the Supply department and 
letters from the Finance department. 

Mr. John R. Thompson, Chief in charge, has been a mem- 
ber of Little River Fountain, No. 540. since 1804. and Class B, 
Circle No. 2, since 1901. 

Miss Estelle D. Ward, Assistant in Correspondence de- 
partment, has been a member of Healing Stream Fountain, 
Xo. 122, since April, JL909, and Class B, Circle Xo. 23, since 
April, 1909. 


The Regalia department was organized in 1892 at the time 
when the Grand Fountain purchased this department from 
Rev. William W. Browne. All the regalia of the Organiza- 
tion is made by the ladies of this department. This depart- 
ment has been successively under the supervision of Mrs. 
M. A. Browne. Mrs. Martha C. Braxton and Mrs. Susie F. 
Black well. 

Mrs. Susie F. Blackwell, the Chief, has been a member of 
Grace Fountain. Xo. 443, since L888, and (lass B. Circle Xo. 

Mrs. Bettie G. Cousins, Assistant Chief, has been a member 
of Elizabeth Fountain. Xo. 33, since 1887. and (Mass B, Circle 
Xo. 4, since 1895. 

Miss Nannie Phillips, Lynchburg, Va.. has been a member 
of Cheerful Moment Fountain. Xo. 1455, -ince 1902, and Class 
B since 190G. 


The Accountant's department was organized in 1889, and 
since that time there have been three Chief Accountants — 


Professor A. V. Norrell, the oldest public school teacher in 
point of service in Richmond ; Mr. George W. Lewis, attorney 
at law, and Professor Edward Ellis, Jr., City Point, Va., late 
ship-writer on one of the government monitors. 

Mr. Edward Ellis, the Accountant, joined the Fountain de- 
partment in 1888, and has been a member of Class B, Circle 
No. 36, since 1893. 

Mrs. Frances Bell Banks, Assistant Accountant, has been a 
member of Unity Fountain, No. 738, since 1902, and Class B, 
Circle No. 9, since about 1903. 

Mrs. Mamie G. Waddell, Norfolk, Va., is a member of Office 
Force Fountain, No. 2439, and has been a member of various 
Fountains since 1895, and has been a member of the Class 
department since 1906. 

Miss Columbia Williams has been a member of Helena 
Fountain, No. 110, since 1890, and Class B, Circle No. 72, 
since 1900. 


The Real Estate department has charge of all of the prop- 
erty of the Bank and the Organization, and since its organi- 
zation in 1893 has had as Chief, Mr. George W. Lewis, Hon. 
John H. Smythe, Rev. M. E. Gerst, Mr. John H. Braxton 
and Mr. J. C. Robertson. 

Mr. J. C. Robertson, the present Chief, has been a member 
of the Organization since 1896, and at present is a member 
of Progressive Fountain, No. 227, and is a member of Classes 
E and B. 

Miss Hattie Lncy has been a member of Constantine Foun- 
tain, No. 460, since 1897, and Class B, Circle No. 9, since 1905. 

Miss Gertrude L. Johnston, Jackson, Mich., Stenographer, 
has been a member of the Organization since 1902. She is at 
present a member of Star of Bethlehem Fountain, Richmond, 
Va., and has been a member of Class B, Circle No. 9, since 

Miss Mary N. Brown has been a member of Elizabeth Foun- 
tain, No. 33, since 1905, and Class B, Circle No. 4, since 1907. 


The man who aided W. "W. Browne in his early struggles and buried him at death, 

Richmond, Va. 

GRAND FOUNTAIN, U. 0. T. R. 367 


The General Business department was formed in 1894, and 
grew out of the necessity on the part of the Grand Worthy 
Secretary to have a department where all questions of a gen- 
eral nature, affecting all other departments, could be handled. 
This department has charge of the direction of all other de- 
partments and the handling of the death claims. The Grand 
Worthy Secretary, Mr. W. P. Burrell, is in immediate charge, 
while his principal assistant is Mr. Luke B. Phillips, who is 
a member of Classes B and E, Circle No. 1. Mr. Phillips 
joined the Fountain department in 1888 in Hampton, Va. 
He is now a member of Grace Fountain, No. 443, Richmond, 
Va., and Secretary of the same. He is known as the General 
Business Clerk, and as such looks after the general business 
of the Grand Worthy Secretary's office. 

Miss Lucinda Smith, the Death Claim Clerk, is a member 
of Unity Fountain, No. 738, and has been a member of that 
Fountain and Class B, Circle No. 9, since September, 1905. 
She has general supervision of the payment of death claims, 
and all checks for the same are written under her supervision. 

Miss Aline Phillips is a member of Office Force Fountain, 
No. 2439, and of Class B, Circle No. 9. She has been con- 
nected with, the Organization since 1905, and is the assistant 
to Miss Smith in the death claim work. All claims that are 
found clear of all irregularities are turned over to Miss Smith, 
and she enters same for payment in such manner as to give 
a complete history of the claim. 

Mrs. M. E. Burrell has been a member of the Organization 
and Class E department since 1885. She was the third clerk 
ever emploj^ed by the Grand Fountain in any of its depart- 
ments, and assisted materially in the organization of the office 
of the Grand Worthy Secretary. She retired from the work 
in 1893 because of increasing duties at home. She returned 
to the office in December, 1907, and has charge of the original 
reports on all death claims, and it is her duty to see that 


proper printed forms are sent out and that all discrepancies, 
with reference to deaths reported, are cleared up. 

Miss Rosetta Gabbins is a member of Royal Fountain, No. 
408, Lynchburg, Va., and has been a member of the Fountain 
and Class B, Circle Xo. 9, since 1905. She has served as 
stenographer in nearly all of the departments of the General 
Offices, and is at present private secretary and stenographer 
to the Grand Worthy Secretary. 

Miss Mary B. Reide has been a member of Brookland Foun- 
tain, Xo. 544, since September, 1905, and Class E, Circle No. 
399, since July, 1908. She is stenographer and general as- 

"the reformer" department. 

The Reformer department was organized September, 1892, 
when Hon. John H. Smythe, of Washington, D. C, was ap- 
pointed General Lecturer and Tract Writer for the Senior 
Fountains, and Mrs. Selena J. Gray, of Washington, D. C, 
was General Lecturer and Tract Writer for the Rosebud 
Fountains. The object of The Reformer department was to 
furnish a means of general information, by which the mem- 
bers of the Brotherhood might be kept informed on all ques- 
tions for their general good. The original plan did not work 
well, and in January, 1893, Hon. John H. Smythe was ap- 
pointed Editor and Chief of The Reformer, and it was de- 
cided to issue the paper every two months. The paper was at 
first issued free of charge to the members of the Organization, 
with John H. Smythe, as Chief of the Bureau of Informa- 
tion and Editor, and Mr. R. T. Hill and W. P. Burrell as 
Managing Editors. This arrangement continued until 1896, 
at which time Mr. E. W. Brown, who was then emjMoyed as 
a Bank clerk in the Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain, was 
appointed to the position of Editor. Many changes have oc- 
curred since that time in the management of the office, and 
at present the business is as follows: 

Mr. E. W. Brown, Editor and Chief of the department. 

Mr. B. A. Graves, who is Business Manager of the depart- 



Sixth and Clay Streets, Richmond, Va. 


ment, has been a member of Amity Fountain, No. 1424, since 
August, 1899, and Class B, Circle No. 1261, since May, 1904, 
is a man well known in public life. He has been very promi- 
nent in fraternal circles for years. He is Past Grand Master 
of the Grand Lodge of Masons in the State of Virginia, and 
was the captain of a company in the famous Sixth Virginia 
Regiment, of Spanish-American War fame. Mr. Graves for 
a number of years was one of the leading public school teach- 
ers of Richmond, and he resigned as public school teacher to 
accept the office of Business Manager of The Reformer. 

Mr. Harrison H. Price, foreman of the Printing Office, is a 
young man of wide, practical experience, having served in 
some of the leading newspaper offices in the country. He has 
traveled all over the United States, and his experience is wide- 
spread and practical. He is a man who knows all of the de- 
tails of the business of his office, and though of a very retiring 
disposition, professionally has few equals and no superiors. 
Mr. Price has been a member of Amity Fountain for a num- 
ber of years. 

Mrs. Ella B. Forrester is the Bookkeeper of The Reformer 
department, and has been a member of UnhVy Fountain since 
1895. She has been a member of Class B, Circle No. 9, since 

Miss Marie D. Sirens, the Subscription Clerk of the depart- 
ment, is a member of Office Force Fountain, No. 2439, and 
has been a member of the Fountain and Class B, Circle No. 97, 
since 1905. 

Mr. Benjamin R. Brown, pressman, has been a member of 
Amity Fountain, No* 1424, for a number of years. 

Mr. Carringtou R. Conley, pressman, is a member of Amity 
Fountain, No. 1424. 

Mr. Arthur T. Holmes, compositor, is a member of Amity 
Fountain, No. 1424. 


The Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain of the United 
Order of True Reformers was chartered in 1888, and went into 


business April 3, 1889. Its first few days were conducted with 
R. T. Hill as Cashier, and Mrs. M. E. Burrell as assistant 
bookkeeper and clerk. After some time, Mr. John H. Braxton, 
a graduate of the Richmond Normal School, was appointed 
bookkeeper and teller, which position he held until 1896. Mr. 
Braxton, while not now connected with the Bank, is one of its 
largest depositors, and the largest colored real estate agent in 
the city of Richmond. He is a member of Fidelity Fountain, 
No. 100, and Classes E and B. 

Mr. Joseph M. Jackson is assistant to Mr. R. T. Hill, the 
Cashier, and is paying teller, receiving teller and note teller. 
He is a member of Constantine Fountain, No. 460, and has 
been since 1892. He has been a member of Class B since 1893, 
and joined Class E about 1899. 

Mrs. Agnes B. Reese, who is one of the oldest clerks in the 
employ of the Grand Fountain from point of service, is indi- 
vidual bookkeeper. She is a member of Ivy Leaf Fountain, 
No. 219, and has been since 1888 ; she joined Class B, Circle 
No. 124, in 1895. Mrs. Reese is a tireless worker, and one 
whose value as an assistant it is hard to estimate. 

Mr. William W. Wilson, head bookkeeper, has been a mem- 
ber of Twilight Fountain, No. 193, since 1897, and Class E, 
Circle No. 9, since 1905. He is also assistant paying teller and 
receiving teller. 

Mrs. Ida E. Charity has general charge of the correspon- 
dence of the Bank, and is the stenographer and typewriter of 
the department. She is a member of Star of Bethlehem Foun- 
tain, No. 99, which she joined in 1896, and has been a member 
of Class B, Circle No. 16, since 1898. 

Miss Florence Shortts is filing clerk, and assists in corre- 
spondence of the Bank. She is a member of Wisteria Foun- 
tain, No. 1388, which she joined in 1901. She is a member of 
Class B, Circle No. 9, and has been since 1905. 

Miss Cora B. Epps is the assistant bookkeeper of the Bank, 
and has been a member of Constantine Fountain, No. 460, 
since 1898, and Class B, Circle No. 9, since 1905. 

Who married W. W. Browne's widow, Richmond, Va, 

Grand fountain, tr. 6. T. R. 373 

Mr. George W. White, who is runner and bookkeeper, has 
been a member of Helena Fountain, No. 110, since 1902, and 
Class B since 1905. 


The Executive department has been organized since 1881. 
The first private secretary to Eev. William W. Browne was 
W. P. Burrell, who occupied this position until 1889, at which 
time Mr. A. V. Norrell assumed the duties. Mr. Norrell was 
succeeded in turn by Mrs. M. E. Burrell, Mr. Edward Ellis, 
Jr., Hon. John H. Smythe and Mr. R. J. Kyles. In 1897, 
when Rev. Taylor succeeded Rev. Browne as President, Mr. 
R. J. Kyles continued as private secretary and stenographer. 
He was succeeded by Mr. John H. Logan and Miss Etta Whit- 
low, and she in turn was succeeded by Mrs. M. Ellen Gooden 
Fennell. Mrs. Fennell had served as stenographer and secre- 
tary to the Grand Worthy Secretary and to the Chief of the 
Washington Division before being called upon to fill the re- 
sponsible position of stenographer and secretary to Rev. W. L. 
Taylor. Mrs. Fennell is a woman of great executive ability, 
and has proven equal to any and all tasks which have been 
given to her. She is a member of Crystal Fountain, No. 90, 
and has been since 1898. She is a member of Class B, which 
she also joined in 1898. Her home is in Milton, N. C. 

Mrs. Emily E. Boyer, who was formerly Miss Emily E. 
Williams, was for a number of years employed as stenogra- 
pher in the different departments of the Grand Fountain, 
principally the Real Estate department. She resigned in 
1903 to take a position as stenographer to a business firm at 
Suffolk, Ya. After serving for a time at this place, she re- 
turned to her home in Chicago, 111., where she was married 
to Mr. George W. Boyer. Mr. Boyer died in June, 1908, and 
one year later, after much persuasion on the part of the officers 
of the Grand Fountain, Mrs. Boyer consented to come to Rich- 
mond and assist in getting out the history of the twenty-five 
years of the Grand Fountain. In this capacity, as assistant 


to Dr. D. E. Johnson and Mr. W. P. Burrell, the editors, her 
services have been found to be invaluable. 

She is a member of Chicago Hope Fountain, No. 1470, 
which she joined about 1900, and Class B, which she joined 
in 1909. 



Grand Worthy Master and President. 

Rev. William Lee Taylor was born a slave in 1854 in Caro- 
line county, Va., and was reared by his grandmother, Mrs. 
Clara Taylor, and his mistress, Mrs. Jane Ferris, on a farm 
near Chilesburg, Va. There he lived from 1854 to 1865. At 
this age, though young, he was forced to do what he could 
toward helping to provide for his mother and sister. His 
mother hired him and herself to one Henry Gatewood for five 
barrels of corn per year, which was selling for five dollars 
per barrel. They remained with Mr. Gatewood one year. The 
following year he was hired to Mr. James Watkins, at twenty- 
five dollars a year. He was next with a Mr. William Brown, 
colored, one year, for thirty dollars. After this he was en- 
gaged as an employee on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, 
while it was being extended from the White Sulphur Springs 
to Charleston, W. Va. Here young Taylor hired himself to 
work for ten dollars per month and board. He rendered such 
valuable services to the company that his worth was soon no- 
ticed by the officials, as was evidenced by the frequent com- 
ment upon his work to that of other boys, and a promotion 
with increased wages of forty dollars per month. After hav- 
ing served as a cart boy for the company for a considerable 
length of time, he was so well liked that he was hired as a 
cook for the contractors. While employed in this capacity he 
gave perfect satisfaction to all parties concerned. 

An economic habit was seen in the early life of Mr. Taylor, 
in that aside from caring for his mother and sister while he 
was employed by the railroad company, he succeeded in saving 

A famous Negro Leader, Washington, D. C. 


half of his earnings. It is not known how long he would have 
remained with the railroad company, but having been thrown 
from a hand-car, he was so severely injured that he was forced 
to sever his connection with them. Having regained his 
health, he sought employment elsewhere. 

He met his present wife, Miss Rachel Waller, at Chilesburg, 
Va., while visiting her sister and attending a revival meeting 
which was then in progress at the Ebenezer Baptist church, 
of which he was clerk. Through this medium he made her 
acquaintance, and being favorably impressed, they were united 
in the bonds of wedlock on February 14, 1875, by the late Rev. 
R. C, Kemp, of Beaver Dam, Va. After his marriage Mr. 
Taylor commenced to lay the foundation for his future life 
by farming on shares. His experience from the first year in 
farming was very encouraging, in that, after defraying all 
necessary expenses to make and harvest the crop, he had a 
little balance to his credit, with which he bought his first cow. 

It was in 1874, after a very successful revival at the Eben- 
ezer Baptist church, conducted by the late Rev. J. W. Patter- 
son, that he felt that he had been called of God to preach. 
His means to secure an education and thus prepare himself 
for the work of God's ministry were limited. He obtained 
whatever education that he could by hard study in attending 
the district schools in his county; yet the terms were so short 
and his inability to remain steadily at school rendered the 
acquiring of an education an uphill business for him; yet he 
was not easily daunted or discouraged, but continued to press 
forward with the utmost confidence that success comes to 
those who try. Having thoroughly decided to obtain an edu- 
cation, he and his wife disposed of their personal effects for 
cash, including the farm and cow, with which he entered 
Richmond Institute in January, 1876. After remaining in 
school one year and having proven himself faithful and shown 
his ability, he was awarded a scholarship in the said college, 
and he attended successively the sessions of 187G, 1877 and 
1878. Owing to circumstances over which he had no control, 





































GRAND FOUNTAIN. U. 0. T. R. 379 

he did not graduate at the Richmond Institute in the session 
of 1879. His wife was an ardent supporter of his while in 
school; she did everything in her power to support the two 
children at home ; but finding the load too heavy and the road 
too difficult for her to travel alone, he left college and com- 
menced to farm again in 1878, on shares. Here Mr. Taylor, 
with money earned by cutting and hauling cord wood his 
spare hours, bought his second cow. Desiring to become more 
independent in this line of business, he rented a small farm, 
for which he agreed to give one- fourth of the crops as rent. 
In order to cultivate the farm, he purchased a yoke of oxen, 
for which he gave his watch and the balance in cash. In the 
fall of 1879 he rented another small farm, consisting of a 
house and ten acres of land, near Beaver Dam, Va. Such time 
as he could spare from home he was not idle, but used his 
time in cutting cord wood .at fifty cents a cord, and mowing 
wheat and grass sufficient to pay his rent. In the fall of 1880 
he traded his oxen for a horse, which he used successfully in 
farming. When he reached his twenty-sixth year the tide in 
the affairs of his life began to rise. In 1880 he was called to 
the pastorate of Pleasant Grove Baptist church. Here his 
qualities as a leader were made known. He met with great 
success in the work of the church, and in less than two years 
he succeeded in buying land and erecting thereon a beautiful 
structure for the services of God. Though pastoring a church, 
he did not give up his studies, and aside from his Biblical 
studies he also studied vocal music, under Professor Beasley. 
After this, desiring to diffuse his knowledge of music among 
others, he organized and taught a music class at the Ebenezer 
Baptist church, in Caroline county; Union, Jerusalem and 
Bethany churches, in Hanover county; and at Bumpass, in 
Louisa county. 

In 1881 he purchased a farm in Caroline county, Va., con- 
taining about sixty-five acres of land, and in order to make his 
first payment, Mr. Taylor sold his second cow, and subsequent 


payments were met from sale of tobacco and other farm 

In 1883 the patrons of the public school of Beaver Dam 
District, recognizing his ability as an instructor and his in- 
terest in the race, petitioned the school board to appoint him 
as teacher of the public school in that district. It was here, 
while teaching at Beaver Dam, Ya., Rev. Taylor, in 1885, first 
met the late Rev. W. W. Browne, founder of the Grand Foun- 
tain of the United Order of True Reformers, and learned of 
the great worth of the Organization to the Race, and at once 
united with others in organizing Beaver Dam Fountain, No. 
39, of which he became a member and one of its prominent 
officers. Within thirty days after his connection with the Or- 
ganization he organized Pin Hook Fountain, which was set 
aside by Grand Worthy Secretary W. P. Bnrrell. 

In the fall of 1883, the Mt. Zion Baptist church, in Louisa 
county, extended him an invitation to conduct their revival 
services. He made such a favorable impression while there 
that in the spring of 1884 he was called to the pastorate of 
the church, in which capacity Tie served nine years. During 
this time he purchased a beautiful farm at Doswell, Ya., to 
which he moved in the fall of 1892. Having resigned the 
pastoral duties of Mt. Zion Baptist church in April, 1892, he 
was called in the spring of 1893 to the pastorate of the Jeru- 
salem Baptist church. Doswell, Va., of which he is now pastor. 
It may be of some interest to the reader to note the great pro- 
gress that he has made in this church. When he took charge 
as pastor, the church house was greatly in need of remodeling 
and repairs; aside from this, the congregation was small and 
the Sunday-school was almost at its lowest ebb. He has suc- 
ceeded in building a modern church edifice, with every con- 
venience for divine worship. 

At the annual session of the Grand Fountain of the United 
Order of True Reformers, held in Washington,' D. C, in 1885, 
he received an appointment as Special Deputy under R. F. 
Robinson. During that year he again demonstrated his ability 

Chief of Philadelphia, 1898, Philadelphia, Pa. 


Worshipful Grand Master, A. F. & A. M. Reformer Correspondent, Chairman of 

Laid Corner Stone Washington Building, Committee, Dedication of Washington Build- 
Washington, D. C. ing, Washington D. C. 


as an organizer by organizing several Fountains in Louisa, 
Hanover, Henrico and Spotsylvania counties. In 1886 he was 
prevailed upon by the Rev. W. W. Browne to give up teaching 
school and enter the great work of the Grand Fountain of the 
United Order of True Reformers. While attending the an- 
nual session of the Grand Fountain in 1886, Grand Master 
Browne appointed him a member of the committee on consti- 
tution and by-laws. It was at this session that Rev. Taylor 
recommended the election of Rev. Browne as Grand Master 
for an unlimited period. 

In 1887, Rev. Taylor was appointed to the position of 
County and District Deputy, which position he filled with rare 
ability and worth to the institution. In 1888 he was 
also elected a member of the Board of Directors, and in the 
fall of 1887 he was appointed General Messenger of 
the Class department. The rise of Rev. Taylor was noted by 
all, and it was often conjectured that in the course of time he 
would ascend to the highest round. So imbued was he with 
the work of the Grand Fountain that he gave up several posi- 
tions which were paying him a salary sufficiently large to sup- 
port his family; but notwithstanding this, he took the work 
of the True Reformers with no stated salary. He was a great 
lever in building the Class department during the four years 
that he was General Messenger. In the session at Lynchburg 
in 1891, he was elected to the distinguished position of Vice- 
Grand Master of the Grand Fountain of the United Order of 
True Reformers, which jDosition he filled with honor to him- 
self and credit to the institution. While Vice-Grand Master, 
he filled with remarkable ability the positions of Deputy- 
General of both the Southern and Northern Grand Divisions. 
In September, 1897, the late Grand Master Browne, finding 
that his health had failed him, in his wisdom recommended 
to the Grand Fountain the election of Rev. W. L. Taylor as 
Grand Master and President during the fiscal year 1897-1898, 
which recommendation was unanimously adopted. So well 
pleased were the delegation of six hundred and forty persons 


in the annual session of 1898, at the first year's administration 
of Rev. Taylor, that he was unanimously elected Grand 
Worthy Master and President for the next ensuing four years. 
And during these four years of his administration, the success 
of which was almost phenomenal, so clearly did he evince that 
executive ability requisite for the proper management of the 
affairs of the institution that he was re-elected without oppo- 
sition, to serve another term of four years, which was more 
fruitful than the preceding term. In September, 1906, he 
was unanimously elected to succeed himself for another four 
years, having served the Organization faithfully as its execu- 
tive head for a period of nine years, beginning September, 

In 1903 the work for the Race accomplished by Rev. Taylor 
became so noted throughout the length and breadth of the 
country that, at a meeting of the Educational Board of the 
Virginia Seminary, Lynchburg, Va., the high degree of Doc- 
tor of Divinity was conferred upon him. This honor was a 
just recognition of the real worth of the services he had ren- 
dered his Race. Dr. Taylor early realized that energy in the 
work of the Organization, as in all other occupations, prop- 
erly displayed, assures success; therefore well-directed energy 
and consequent success have been characteristic of him since 
his connection with the institution. Aside from his official con- 
nection with the institution, which is now the leading one of 
its kind in the world, Dr. Taylor is considered an able and 
eloquent preacher; also an enterprising and progressive citi- 
zen. He has happily blended the qualities of a minister of the 
gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and of an enterprising busi- 
ness man. He richly merits the esteem and success which he 
enjoys; his career has been a busy and useful one. His plans, 
while bold and liberal, have always been conservative and 
carefully thought out; thus they have aided materially in fos- 
tering the solid and permanent growth of the Organization. 
It is a recognized fact, gratifying to ponder, that in most 
cases, perseverance and energy are amply rewarded, and the 

Foreman Printing Department, Richmond, Va. 


subject of this sketch furnishes a most striking illustration 
of this fact. The remarkable success which the Organization 
has attained is greatly clue to the unusual energy and perse- 
verance that he has always displayed. He is by no means 
content to sit in his office and depend upon others to bring in 
new business, but, like a brave sea captain, he braves the hard 
and laborious work of successful field agency and regularly 
canvasses the country, lecturing in the interest of the work, 
the love for which he has made his second nature. His pro- 
gressive ideas made him unquestionably the proper man to be 
at the head of a great organization ; and he has done much to 
make it primarily the greatest organization of the Race, 
whether in progressive America, historic Orient, or the fa- 
mous isles of the sea. His manner is always congenial, hearty 
and courteous. As a further evidence of Dr. Taylor's fitness, 
ability and influence, he is a member of the Executive Com- 
mittee of the National Xegro Business League of America, of 
which Dr. Booker T. Washington is president; a director of 
the Virginia Seminary, Lynchburg, Va.; Capitol Shoe Sup- 
ply Company, Incorporated, Richmond, Va., and vice-presi- 
dent of the Black Diamond Oil and Gas Company, Chicago, 
111. In short, Dr. Taylor is interested in all movements that 
tend to the moral, educational, commercial and financial de- 
velopment of his Race. He is no less filled with civic and 
patriotic pride, and in his private conversations, as well as 
public addresses, he may be heard to emphasize the beauty 
and progress of the city of Richmond, the greatness of historic 
Virginia, and universal acknowledgment of its wealth and the 
prosperity of the American people. His influence is always 
exerted along safe and conservative lines. Fortunately, he 
adds to his business acumen and unceasing energy a pleasing 
address. He at once creates a favorable impression upon an 
acquaintance. If young men want an incentive to become 
great workers, or an example of deserved success, the subject 
of this sketch is a living object lesson, and his. accomplish- 
ments are ocular demonstrations of the reward of persever- 


ance, economy, morality, of which he is an embodiment. By 
his force of character and royal manhood, he has wrung from 
the tenacious hands of an uncompromising business world 
honors of distinction and made for himself a reputation en- 
viable, to say the least. 

Dr. Taylor has nine living children, the oldest among these 
being Thomas W., William L., Jr., and Manley L. The first 
two named are holding responsible positions with the True 
Reformers, and the last is a practicing physician in the city 
of Columbus, Ga. The other six — three boys and three girls — 
are attending different schools and colleges. 

Dr. Taylor, on account of his official duties, has traveled 
extensively throughout the United States and in England, 
taking with him, that his trip might be more pleasant and 
interesting, his amiable wife. He remained abroad quite 
awhile, during which time he visited many places of interest 
and historic fame. There are numerous incidents in his life 
that would be interesting and inspiring to the reader, but 
space will not permit mentioning here. Being a great rea- 
soner, a close observer, a diligent student of men and condi- 
tions, together with his extensive travels, have successfully 
conspired to befit him as a great leader of his people, as he is 
now acknoAvledged to be; and enables him to give them good 
and wholesome advice, warning them against the pitfalls, 
quagmires, sloughs and dangers along life's highway, and en- 
couraging them to be good citizens, to obey the laws of the 
government, and to practice virtue, morality, industry and 


Vice-Grand Worthy Matter and Grand Worthy Accountant. 

Edward Ellis, Jr., was born in Cabin Point, Surry county, 
Va., April 18, 1865. After the Civil War, his parents, Edward 
and Elizabeth Ellis, moved to City Point, Va. Here Edward 

Delegate to Grand Fountain, Washington, D. C. 


attended the public schools until his thirteenth year. At the 
age of fourteen he entered the Hampton Normal and Agri- 
cultural Institute, where he receded his normal training. He 
afterwards pursued special courses at the Richmond Institute 
(now the Virginia Union University), taking an advanced 
course in mathematics and other preferred subjects. 

When in school he was a favorite among his fellow-students 
and classmates. His congenial, yet straightforward disposi- 
tion, served to make for him a place of honor in the esteem of 
all his schoolmates. 

Passing a successful examination, he received appointment 
to his first position as teacher at the hands of Judge Timothy 
Rives, superintendent of public schools of Prince George 
county. His fitness as a teacher served to advance him each 
year, until he reached the highest grade for colored schools 
in his county. At the age of twenty years he was married to 
Miss Catherine Street, of Bermuda, Chesterfield county, Va., 
on July 12, 1883. 

Mr. Ellis is a devoted Christian and churchman of first 
order. He holds membership in St. Philip's Protestant Epis- 
copal church, of Richmond. Va.. and enjoys the distinction of 
being the Senior Warden of his church. Having entered the 
Christian ranks when quite young, he has served in every 
capacity, as layman, with distinction. 

Mr. Ellis taught in the public schools nine years, and at 
the end of which time he was appointed to a position under 
the Secretary of the Navy as ships' writer and auditor of ac- 
counts of the Equipment Department, and for a long while 
he acted as paymaster's yeoman under Lieutenant-Commander 
George R. Durand, commanding the United States naval fleet. 
These positions came to him after having passed a flattering 
examination over the heads of five white competitors, he being 
the only colored applicant. He held them with distinction and 
credit for several years, after which he resigned because of 
the prejudice awakened when it was learned in Washington 
that Mr. Ellis was not a member of the white Race. It was 


more than three weeks after he had resigned before his resig- 
nation was accepted by Secretary Whitney, then Secretary 
of the United States Navy, thus recording Mr. Ellis as having 
been the only Negro to hold such a position. 

When he was initiated into the Order of the True Reform- 
ers, in 1889, Mr. Ellis was conducting a mercantile business, 
which was very successfully managed. In 1893 he was ap- 
pointed Accountant and General Bookkeeper for the Grand 
Fountain, U. O. T. E., which position he holds at present. He 
was later made Vice-President and Vice-Grand Worthy Mas- 
ter of the Order, which positions he now holds. The Brother- 
hood made no mistake in accepting the recommendation made 
by President Taylor of Mr. Ellis as Vice-Grand Worthy Mas- 
ter and Vice-President. 

The subject of this sketch was an ardent and faithful sup- 
porter of the later William Washington Browne, founder of 
the Organization, and was the one upon whom Mr. Browne 
always relied for information regarding the true standing 
of the institution financially. 

When Rev. Browne, left the city of Richmond for the last 
time for medical treatment, realizing as he did the serious- 
ness of his condition, he placed in the hands of the Accountant 
all information and records necessary to the successful guiding 
of the Order. 

\A Tien the moment came for his successor, Rev. W. L. Tay- 
lor, to take the reins of government, Mr. Browne having ad- 
vised to this end, he was found faithfully standing guard at 
the helm, awaiting the arrival of the new commander. 

As private secretary of the late W. W. Browne, he traveled 
extensively with him while building up the field work. 

He is a man of excellent business qualifications', and superbly 
congenial and lovable. He is passionately devoted to his fam- 
ily, and causes his friends and his guests to feel at home in 
his society. The members of the entire Office force, without a 
single exception, cherish for him the most ardent and tender 


Early Secretary Hampton Division, 
Hampton, Va. 

Chief, Harpers' Ferry, W. Va. 

Ass't Chief Eecords, Manchester. Va. 


A prince among men, the very beloved among personal 
friends is he by nature, peculiarly adapted to be. His long 
experience as an accountant has contributed very largely to his 
peculiar adaptation to the work of his sphere. Throughout 
the Brotherhood he is beloved, and has stood loyally by it in 
its struggles in many hard- fought battles. 

He is to a very profound degree amiable and loving in his 
personality, and in his relations to business he is strict — still 
very considerate. He has rare and superior musical gifts, 
and sustains a strong devotion to the musical world. Some of 
his musical productions, such as the "Te Deum Laudamus," 
"Jubilate Deo," "And There Were Shepherds," and "O, 
Father Dear" (a prayer), and many other sacred as well as 
sentimental compositions, have met with surprising success. 
His last production, "Farewell, Sweet Rose of Summer," is 
now ready for press. 

His fondness for poetry, and his ability to make verse and 
prose, is manifest in the five hundred poems which he now 
has ready for publication. He is untiring in his labors, going 
often near the danger line when the needs of business seem 
to require it. He is a wise counsellor, and with his quick 
adaptability and wide experience he makes a safe officer. 

As an after-dinner and platform speaker, Mr. Ellis pos- 
sesses remarkable power. His voice is as sweet as the music 
of a flute, and his words, selected and pointed, fall with mani- 
fest sincerity upon the hearts as well as the ears .of those that 
hear him. May his highest musical and literary expectations 
be more than filled. 

E. T. HILL, 

Grand Worthy Treasurer and Cashier of the Savings Bank, 
Grand Fountain, U. 0. T. R. 

Reuben Thomas Hill was born June 18, 1852, at Chilesburg, 
Caroline county, Va. He was the only child of William and 
Ellen Hill, both of whom were slaves. He was brought by his 


mother to Richmond when he was but one month old, and has 
resided there ever since, with the exception of a few years 
which he spent in the North toiling for a living. 

Mr. Hill learned to read without a teacher, after which he 
attended a private night school. In 187G he entered the 
preparatory department of the Richmond Institute, graduat- 
ing in 1880 from the academic department thereof, with the 
highest honors of his class. 

During the boyhood days of Mr. Hill he had many bitter 
experiences. His father was taken from home and sold when 
he was only six years old. His mother being very delicate, 
yoimg Hill sought every opportunity to assist her, notwith- 
standing they were both slaves and hired out. It was neces- 
sary for him to struggle hard at times; therefore he worked in 
a tobacco factory, as a butler, and for a considerable time he 
was a driver on a dirt cart on the streets of Richmond. 

In 1872 he went to work as a day laborer in the concrete 
works on the streets of Washington, 1). C. Having worked 
at this for awhile, he secured employment with the United 
States Coast Survey, after which he became the proprietor 
of a confectionery and lunch room at 1903 K street, X. W., 
Washington. D. 0. This he operated for several years. 

In L882 Mr. Hill became the senior member of the well- 
known firm of R. T. Hill & Co., carrying a large stock of 
books, stationery, etc. This was the firsi place of its kind to 
be conducted in the South by colored men. Great success at- 
tended his labors. His foreseen wisdom and keen sight over 
this enterprise attracted the attention of the late Rev. W. TV. 
Browne, who urged him to unite with the Grand Fountain, 
United Order of True Reformers. 

In the summer of 1887 he cast his lot with the institution. 
He became a charter member of Fidelity Fountain, Xo. 100, 
which was organized by James TI. Johnson, under the direc- 
tion of the late Rev. W. W. Browne. This Fountain grew 
under the leadership of Mr. James Hugo Johnston, who, hav- 
ing been elected to the presidency of the Virginia Normal and 





























Collegiate uistitute, of Petersburg, left Kichmond to enter 
upon the duties of his office; whereupon Mr. Hill was made 
Messenger of the Fountain, and for fifteen years has held the 
office of Senior Past Master. 

Soon after Mr. Browne conceived the idea of a Bank, he 
began to confer with his friends upon the matter, and among 
them he frequently talked with Mr. Hill. Upon approaching 
him upon the subject of becoming Cashier of the proposed 
Bank, Mr. Hill demurred to this idea, thinking that he would 
never become efficient enough to be a cashier. Mr. Browne, 
who was always sanguine and full of hope, replied to Mr. 
Hills' demurrer, stating that he rarely ever made a mistake 
in a man; that he was satisfied in his heart that he was the 
cashier that he wanted. Mr. Hill, not realizing how any such 
thing was possible, looked upon it liglit'ly, giving it no serious 
thought whatever. 

In the spring of 1888 his health began to fail, and after a 
long and severe illness, he was advised by his physician, Dr. 
Samuel H. Dismond, to give up the stationery business, as it 
was necessary to his health. Accordingly, he gave up this busi- 
ness, and in the fall of 1888 he was elected by the Board of 
Directors of the Grand Fountain as Cashier of the proposed 
Bank. Thus he became the first Cashier of the first Bank 
opened, owned and controlled by Xegroes in the United States 
of America. His record as a cashier is without a peer. He 
stepped into this most thoroughly equipped scheme without 
experience. He at once began the study of banking, and by 
diligence and application of his time to this new phase of 
work (for it was new to us), he has become one of the most 
proficient financiers of this country. 

During the seventeen years of its existence, the Savings 
Bank of the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reform- 
ers, has constantly stood in the forefront of public confidence. 
The fidelity with which the officers have managed the great 
interest committed to their trust for the benefit of the whole 
body of depositors, and the community at large, and the fact 


that all demands upon it have been duly and promptly met, 
have enabled this Bank to acquire and retain the just confi- 
dence of the public. The name of the Savings Bank of the 
Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, is synony- 
mous in the money market with finance and strength. 

As a cashier, Mr. Hill is an expert in all the phases of the 
Banking department of the institution. As a financier, he is 
looked upon with honor and integrity. His consistency has 
served to place him at the head and to associate him with 
many institutions of note. He has been the president of the 
Virginia Baptist Sunday-school Convention for twenty-two 
years ; president and one of the founders of the Colored Y. M. 
C. A. of Richmond; director of the Richmond Beneficial In- 
surance Company; director in the Jonesboro Land Improve- 
ment Company; treasurer of the Capitol Shoe and Supply 
Company; trustee of the Virginia Union University; treas- 
urer of the Negro Development and Exposition Company, and 
deacon of the First Baptist church, Richmond, Va. 

In 1885 lie was united in marriage to Miss Irene Robinson. 
Three boys and two girls have been born to them as a result 
of this union. 


Grand Worthy Governess. 

Mrs. Eliza Allen, the subject of this sketch, was born of 
slave parents, in Westmoreland county, Va., about seventy 
years ago. She belonged to the estate of Major Beale, who 
had a son by the name of Richard Beale, a lawyer. 

Having been born in the dark days of slavery, she had very 
little privilege of attending school, but was always considered 
a bright, apt child, with good mother-wit. 

She was converted when quite young, and joined the Metho- 
dist church, and has been a faithful member and worker for 
the church and the cause of Christ. She was also very fond 


Eeformer Correspondent, Delegate to Grand 
Fountain, Washington. D. C 

> ^ ■ -■■Mr' 


Builder of Richmond, Roanoke and Ports- Chief Deputy, Roanoke, Ya., and Wilmington 
mouth Halls, Richmond. Ya. Del., Chief Supplies, 1897, Richmond Ya. 

GRAND FOUNTAIN, U. 0. T. R. 397 

of societies, and even in the days of slavery went about get- 
ting members to form societies, having in mind the thought 
that through this medium she would be able to accomplish 
something for the betterment of the Race. Before the War 
of the Rebellion, she organized several benevolent socities, and, 
as was the custom in those days, had a white man to sit in 
all of the meetings to make the meeting lawful. Ofttimes, 
while visiting around on Sunday afternoons, or while nursing 
the children of her master, she would meet many persons, and 
after talking her plans over with them, be able to induce them 
to meet with her. Sunday afternoons were always set apart 
as the time of meeting, as a majority of the members would 
be off from their work at this time. The servants were al- 
lowed Sunday afternoon in those days as they are now. Mrs. 
Allen was always the leader in the meetings, and was active in 
getting the members together, explaining the object of the 
gathering, and, in consequence, it was always agreed that she 
must be the head or president, and she always held this posi- 
tion in the various societies. In their midst there were num- 
bers that could read and write, having learned while nursing 
their masters' children. The mistress would set copies for 
teaching her children, not knowing at the same time that she 
was teaching her servants. Mrs. Allen's sister, Mary Jones, 
of Baltimore, Md., who is a member of Macedonia Baptist 
church, and also a member of the choir, got her education in 
that way. They were thus enabled to keep accounts of their 
meetings, and at any time that there were none of the mem- 
bers present who could read or write, then the white man 
that attended these meetings would keep the accounts for 
them. These societies had their officers then, just as we do 
now — president, or head ; treasurer, secretary, chaplain, or, -as 
they said in those days, "some one to pray," and the sick com- 
mittee, or "some one to go about and see those who were sick." 
They could go in the daytime to see about their sick, but if 
they wanted to go at night" to sit up or for a visit, it was 
necessary to get a "pass" from their masters, or whoever they 


were living with. The names of some of the societies organ- 
ized by Mrs. Allen before the war were "Consolation Sisters," 
"Tobitha" and "Sisters of Usefulness." The beginning of the 
late Civil War caused the disbandment of these societies; 
many of the members ran away in an effort to get to the 
"Yankees," and others were sold away. Mrs. Allen's owner 
moved from Petersburg to Danville, Va., carrying her, to- 
gether with other servants, with him. He was Professor 
W. T. Davis, who conducted a Methodist College for Females. 
She remained there for some time after the "fall of Rich- 

In 1859, in Petersburg. Va., she was married to Mr. James 
Allen. To this union five children were born, two of whom are 
living — Robert W.. of New York city, and L. J. Allen, of 
Petersburg, Va. 

Since the close of the war Mrs. Allen has been connected 
with numerous secret organizations, among them being The 
Good Samaritans and Daughters of Samaria, having held the 
office of grand presiding daughter. She was a delegate to the 
National Grand Lodge, which met in Newark, X. J., there 
being both white and colored delegates in attendance. She 
organized the Grand United Order of Brothers and Sisters of 
Love and Charity, and has filled all of the prominent posi- 
tions in the organization. She is a member of the St. Luke 
Organization, and has served as grand chief, having "passed 
out" at Hinton. W. Va. She is also a member of the Eastern 
Star, the Tents Society of the J. R. Giclding and Jollifee 
Union, and has served on the board for several years and 
"passed out" as senior matron. 

She has been a staunch supporter of the Grand Fountain, 
United Order of True Reformers, having been identified with 
it since its incipiency. She organized Shiloh Fountain, No. 6, 
under the late Grand Worthy Master, William Washington 
Browne, which was the first Fountain organized in Southside 
Virginia. She was a delegate to the annual session held at 
the old Orphan Asylum, in Richmond, Va., September, 1881, 


Recorder^ Deeds, Delagate to Grand Fountain 
Washington. D. C. 

W. D. LAWS. 
Chief, Avalon, Va. 

Ass't Chief Real Estate, 1904, Richmond, Va. 

400 tWenty-Mve years history 

which was the first annual session of the True Reformers. 
She was elected Grand Worthy Mistress at this meeting, and 
served the office for six consecutive years. When the Rosebud 
department was organized, she was elected Grand Worthy 
Governess of the same, in Washington, D. C, which position 
she now holds. In former days Mrs. Allen traveled exten- 
sively in an effort to get the soil in readiness to plant the seed 
of True Reformerism : and all over the Southland and parts 
of the Xorth and West you can see where the seed has grown 
and matured. She does not travel now, as age has laid its 
hand upon her, but she has not lost any of her spirited ambi- 
tion for the Order. In the earlier days, when the True Re- 
formers were just being established, the late Grand Master 
Browne promised so much that the Order would do if the 
people would only catch hold and push it along, that the 
workers had quite a hard time in planting the work; the 
monuments of to-day were not in existence. Many and many 
a night has Mrs. Allen traveled through the various counties, 
in rain, hail and sleet and snow storms, carrying into the 
rural districts the message of True Reformerism. Many were 
the hardships that the workers of those days had to endure 
in order to foster the work and bring it to its present standing. 
Ofttimes they would be lying in bed at night and looking at 
the stars through the roof of the houses. And again, in ap- 
proaching di tie rent leaders of the Race, whom they thought 
would take hold of the work and help to advance it, they 
would be repulsed. But the late Chieftain. William Wash- 
ington Browne, had given the command to go forward, trusting 
in God; so Mrs. Allen did not feel discouraged, but pushed 
forward with the work, obeying every command since her 
connection with the Order. She has been a staunch worker 
and builder, and at no time tiring of doing anything that she 
could for the good of the Order. 




Rev. J. T. Carpenter was born July 25, 1853, at Richmond, 
Va. He is the son of Lewis and Adelia Carpenter. He at- 
tended the private and public schools of Richmond seven 
years, and took three years' training in theology under the 
late Rev. Richard Wells. He has been preaching for twenty- 
three years. He was also a Sunday-school teacher and assist- 
ant superintendent for several years in the Ebenezer Baptist 
church, of which he is still a member. 

In 1874 he was married to Mrs. Mary L. Spurlock, of Rich- 
mond, Va., in which union there have been five children born, 
three of whom are dead. 

In 1883, while successfully conducting a grocery store, he 
was elected by the colored members of Clay Ward as can- 
vasser, which resulted in cutting the Democratic vote in that 
ward from three or four hundred majority to about eighty 
or ninety. 

In 1887 he was induced by Rev. W. W. Browne to become 
a member of the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True 
Reformers. He and his wife assisted Rev. and Mrs. Browne 
to work up a club, which was organized into a Fountain, and 
he at last, having found the thing his heart longed for, named 
it "Eureka," which is Fountain No. 89. 

The first work done by Rev. Carpenter was to help Rev. 
Browne capture Church Hill, the eastern part of Richmond, 
which they did through the late C. S. Johnson. The next im- 
portant work Avas his appointment as one of the three can- 
vassers for Richmond, in the persons of Mrs. M. E. Burrell, 
Rev. W. L. Taylor and Rev. J. T. Carpenter. After canvass- 
ing Richmond successfully. Rev. Browne decided to send 
Taylor and Carpenter on the field — Rev. Taylor as General 
Messenger of the Class department, and Rev. Carpenter as 
State Deputy at large, of the Fountain department, and Mrs. 
Burrell remained in the office as clerk. 

After the appointment of these two Deputies, the work con- 
tinued to move onward and upward to the present day. Rev. 

Portsmouth, Va. 


Carpenter's first appointment as Deputy was to the Danville 
District, which included Danville, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Bed- 
ford City and Lexington, Va., with headquarters at Danville. 
He succeeded in planting the first work of the Order that was 
established at Danville. At this time there were only three 
departments of the Organization, namely, the Fountain, 
Rosebud and Class, with the last named unable to pay the 
face value of its policies, the total membership at that time 
being only about three thousand, and there being but three 
persons employed in the Main Office — Mr. W. P. Burrell, the 
late Mrs. Laura Smith and Mrs. M. E. Burrell. There were 
but two traveling Deputies on full time at this time — the Rev. 
W. L. Taylor and Rev. J. T. Carpenter. These were the 
pioneer Deputies of the Order; and as the Order was in its 
infancy, these Deputies served without much pay for three 
or four years, and as the old adage is, "They ran by faith, 
taking the will for the deed," and leaning on the promise made 
by the captain, Rev. W. W. Browne, that if they assisted in 
building the throne, they should sit upon it. 

Rev. Carpenter has traveled from the rock-bound coasts of 
Maine in the East to the exalted peaks of the Rocky Mountains 
in the West, and from the far North to the far South, preach- 
ing the gospel, lecturing to the people, and building Foun- 
tains, Rosebuds and every department of the Order as he went. 
He has built and organized several of the best Divisions of 
the Brotherhood, but more especially Danville, Lynchburg, 
Roanoke, Bedford City, Lexington, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Va., 
Baltimore, Md., and St. Louis, Mo. 

At the annual session of 1887 he was nominated for Vice- 
Grand Master, which he declined on account of having just 
joined the Order; he was also nominated for Grand Worthy 
Chaplain, which he also declined. 

In the annual session of 1891 he was again nominated for 
Vice-Grand Master, but was defeated by Rev. W. L. Taylor. 

In 1897 Rev. Browne appointed him Business Manager and 
General Agent of The Reformer, which was then greatly be- 


hind. In less than two years he had brought it out of debt 
and left a cash balance of over three hundred dollars to its 

In the great contest for Grand Worthy Master and Presi- 
dent in the year 1898, he wrote an article, which was published 
in The Reformer, which created much sentiment among the 
entire Brotherhood; subject, "Let Well Enough Alone." 

In 1898 he received a third nomination for Vice-Grand Mas- 
ter, and again declined, as the position was not a paying one, 
and since he had served the Order so long without pay, chose 
rather to accept the appointment of Deputy-General of the 
Northern Grand Division. He has served as Grand Worthy 
Chaplain, a member of the Board of Directors, and Deputy-. 
General of the Northern Grand Division. 

Rev. Carpenter is one of the staunch supporters of the va- 
rious departments of the Grand Fountain, and considers that 
the institution is the greatest stimulus and the most potent 
factor in the uplift of the Negro, from a business and financial 



The subject of this sketch, Mr. James Allen, the son of 
Samuel and Polly Allen, was born in Granville county, N. C, 
July 29, 1844. At a very early age he moved to Petersburg, 
Va., where he has since resided. 

Mr. Allen's educational advantages were very poor, having 
been born in those days when it was unlawful to educate a 

His bo}diood days were spent on a farm ; later on he worked 
in a factory, and in 1860 he became an apprentice to Mr. Al- 
fred Carter, a shoemaker. After completing the trade he 
began to work for himself. He was quite successful, and has 
given others the benefit of the same trade. 






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In 1859 he was married to Miss Eliza Hall, and to them 
were born five children, two of whom are living. 

In 1881 he became interested in the Grand Fountain of the 
United Order of True Reformers, having with his wife 
worked up the first Fountain in Petersburg, Va., in the Oak 
Street A. M. E. church, which was the first home of the Order 
in that city. He and his amiable wife have been hand in hand 
in this great work ever since, having traversed that section 
until Fountains dot the county everywhere. He has been en- 
gaged in every department of the Order, having given service 
in all its branches. 

He and his wife are both staunch advocates and supporters 
of the Order, which he claims has done more for the general 
good of his people than any other organization, as a moral and 
material uplift of the Xegro Race. 


Attorney and Director. 

Josiah C. Robertson, the son of Pleasant and Eliza J. Rob- 
ertson, was born in Prince Edward county, Va., August 14, 
1866. His early life was spent upon the farm; from boyhood 
he was ambitious, and always striving to excel in whatever 
duty was assigned him. He was of great help to his father 
in assisting to support the family by diligently seeding and 
hoeing corn and tobacco in the spring and summer. After 
harvesting season was over, he never allowed himself to be 
idle, but would engage in the pursuit of cutting cord wood 
and railroad ties and delivering the same to a nearby railroad. 

From youth Josiah had a great desire to obtain an education, 
and as he often said, "I desire to obtain an education in order 
that I may be helpful to my race." But his opportunities for 
attending school and obtaining the knowledge he so much de- 
sired were very meager. However, his early literary training 
was received in the district schools in the county of his nativ- 


ity. By skillful planning, he managed to attend these schools 
a few months in each term. By this means, to a great extent, 
he laid the foundation upon which he has so well fitted 
himself for obvious duties of life. The district schools of 
Prince Edward county only served as a precursor as to what 
he really needed in order to make himself an all-around man. 
That he succeeded in achieving his fond desire goes without 
saying. It can be truthfully said that nowhere can be found 
a better example of a self-made man than Josiah C. Robert- 
son. By push, energy and frugality, he was enabled to leave 
the corn and tobacco fields; also the timber lands of Prince 
Edward county, and entered the Virginia Normal and Col- 
legiate Institute, at Petersburg, Va., over which presided the 
late distinguished scholar, educator and diplomat, Hon. John 
Mercer Langston. Under his tutorship the future greatness 
of young Josiah was laid. While in college he easily stood in 
rank among the most prominent and brilliant members of his 
classes. His motto was, "Success always comes to him who 
tries." With this idea in view, he took a very high stand, 
and graduated in the spring of 1892, with the degree of A. B. 
His deportment stood so eminently good in the eyes of the 
faculty of the institution that he was made student-teacher 
to the Dean of the College Department, and assisted him in 
teaching Greek and Latin for two years. In an oratorical 
contest given by the Greek letter society, he was awarded a 
gold medal as first prize. His fine abilities showed themselves 
to a wonderful advantage while in the college at Petersburg; 
so much so that it required little or no persuasion for him to 
decide to go still higher in the arts of education and intel- 
lectual refinement. In the fall of 1892 he entered the law 
department of Shaw University, at Raleigh, K C. He was 
not there long before it was readily seen that as a student he 
was a star of the first magnitude. He easily became one of 
the most prominent students in the university, and as an evi- 
dence of this fact, to complete a course at Shaw University, 
according to the curriculum, three years is the time required, 

(Leased) Philadelphia, Pa. 


but young Robertson's ability to master educational problems 
was so exceptionally fine that he finished the prescribed course 
of law in two years, graduating at the head of a large class, 
of which he was the valedictorian. He was by this noted uni- 
versity awarded a diploma, with the degree of LL. B. A 
higher compliment cannot be paid to his energy, ability and 
determination to succeed in every avenue of life. 

In the summer of 1894 he received his license, and at once 
located in the city of Danville, Va., and there entered upon 
the practice of his profession. During the four years that he 
resided at Danville he succeeded in working up a lucrative 
practice among both white and colored, often receiving the 
highest compliments for decorum, ability and merit from both 
the bar and the bench. 

Lawyer Robertson possessed a fond love for fraternal socie- 
ties, as is evidenced by the number with which he is connected, 
namely, the Masonic fraternity, the Knights of Pythias, the 
Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers, and 
several other organizations, having for their object the better- 
ment of the Race. 

In 1898 he was sent as a delegate to the annual session of the 
Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers. In 
that session he made the speech of his life, stirring the hearts 
of that great delegation to wild enthusiasm. 

In the fall of 1898 Grand Worthy Master Taylor appointed 
him Chief of the Real Estate department and General Attor- 
ney for the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Re- 
formers. His eleven years' service in this capacity has clearly 
demonstrated the wisdom of Dr. Taylor in appointing him to 
these positions, for he has filled them with honor to himself, 
with credit to the institution, and in a most acceptable 

As a lawyer at the bar, he ranks with the best, with few to 
equal and none to excel him. The Virginia courts have not 
been honored with so much eloquence and marked distinction 
since the days of R. Peale Brooks, as they have been during 


the fifteen years of Lawyer Robertson's practice. The reputa- 
tion that he has made in this field of strife and labor will 
survive untarnished by time, as a lasting tribute to his mem- 
ory and a living guide to his successor. It may well be said 
of him that during his life he has hung along the highways 
no dim, flickering or uncertain lights. 

On the 26th day of April, 1899, he was united in wedlock 
with Miss Mary E. Hayes, and there have been born to them 
two bright-eyed children, the life, joy and comfort of their 
home — Ethel G. and Josiah P. His devotion to his family is 

Since he located in Richmond his counsel and advice have 
been sought by men and women of every walk of life. His 
protracted experience, large information and tireless industry 
will illumine the paths of the young men of his Race for gen- 
erations to come. He always appreciates the full measure of 
public duty and official fidelity. He never goes at any duty 
slightly, but realizes the great weight and importance of every 
task that he has to perform. He shirks no perils, evades no 
hazards, circumvents no risks in the line of duty and province 
of his obligation ; but conscientiously wears the insignia of 
appointed avocation, being fearless of confronting obstacles, 
daring in resources and hopeful in favorable results. As an 
orator, he is powerful and persuasive; his voice is full and 
musical; his sentences clear and rhetorical; his information 
and illustrations striking and forceful. He is anxiously 
sought from far and near, where vast crowds delight to greet 
him. He carries his audience by the irresistible force of his 
logic and the fervor of his eloquence. 


Deputy -General. 

Alexander Watson Holmes, the subject of this sketch, was 
born a slave, June 15, 1861, near Fredericks Hall, in the 
county of Louisa, Va. His parents, Anthony T. and Martha 

Greatest Negro Poet, Dayton, O. 


C. Holmes, though both slaves, enjo} T ed, on account of their 
honesty and strict adherence to duty, special privileges as 
early as the fifties. These noble qualities, along with others, 
were inherited by young Holmes, who so exemplified them in 
his early life that he became the pride of the home, and was 
given special attention and privilege by those to whom he 
belonged. Young Holmes' father was a skilled tobacco work- 
er, and promised his son Alexander that when he reached the 
age of eight he would give him a birthday present. Young 
Holmes' heart grew lighter and lighter each day, until 'finally 
the natal day came, at which time he was put to work by and 
under his father — this was the birthday present. Though 
young, he soon attained unto that proficiency that he was 
given charge of his own work, which was "turned out" second 
to none in the factory. As early as fourteen years of ago, 
young Holmes, while at work in the factory of W. T. Hancock, 
Richmond. Ya., manufactured an exhibit which took the prize 
at the great centennial held in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1STG. To 
begin with, his compensation was small, but his economy, per- 
severance and skill soon commanded for him the highest class 
of work and best prices. The earnings of young Holmes were 
always subject to the direction of his father, and used for the 
best interest of the family. While young Holmes was yet a 
boy his father purchased a small farm, which was increased 
in size by a subsequent purchase, a large amount of the pur- 
chase price being paid from the earnings of young Holmes. 
The farm is yet owned by Mr. A. AY. Holmes. 

AYhen a youth, school facilities were meager, and his chances 
for an education poor. He attended school whenever oppor- 
tunity afforded, and increased his opportunity by earning 
wages in the day and attending school at night. Though he 
makes no pretensions as to scholastic training, he merits the 
distinction of being self-educated. 

In 1887, wishing to better his condition, he gave up the 
work in the tobacco factory and hired himself out as a waiter 
in a private family at TYashington, D. C. So careful and 


tnorough was he in this work that it was hard to convince the 
family that he had not pursued this line before. While giving 
satisfaction in every particular, yet on account of not seeing 
any opportunity for promotion he gave up this waiting and 
returned to Eichmond. 

He became a member of Twilight Fountain, No. 193, of the 
Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers, in 
1887, and two years thereafter, at the urgent request of the 
late Rev. W. W. Browne, who saw in him a great power for 
the future advancement of the Order, he again gave up his 
work in the factory and became a regular canvasser for the 
Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers. 

In 1889 he married a charming young lady, the choice of 
his youth, Miss Mary E. Venie, of Louisa county, Va., and 
with renewed energy and strengthened determination, he 
pushed his way along the rugged journey of life, making the 
city of Richmond, Va., his home. 

In 1890 he was appointed State Deputy, with headquarters 
at Charlottesville, Va., which work he followed for a period 
of eighteen months. 

In 1892 Mr. Holmes was made Assistant Chief of Richmond 
Division, and later he was promoted to the position of Chief, 
at five dollars per month, which position he held for fourteen 
years. During this time he is reputed to have trained a 
greater number of persons for the field work than any other 
chief in the Brotherhood. It is interesting to note how Mr. 
Holmes was frequentty promoted from one position in the 
Order to another, which was proof positive of the successful 
manner in which he performed every duty and executed every 
trust reposed in him. Prior to his appointment as Chief, he 
was compelled to depend upon the commissions he might be 
able to make, and often it happened that they were small, and 
sometimes nothing. Whenever it might please the Grand 
Worthy Master — and that was not very often — he would help 
him out by a small appropriation. Rev. W. W. Browne, hav- 
ing found Mr. Holmes to be one of the trusty, able and con- 















secrated workers, extremely economical, appointed him Man- 
ager of Hotel Reformer. So well did he fill this position that 
he received the highest encomium of all with whom he offi- 
cially met. For eleven successive years he managed this fea- 
ture of the Order under the direction of Mr. Browne until his 
death; then under the direction of Grand Worthy Master 
Rev. W L. Taylor. 

In 1905 he was elected a member of the Board of Directors 
of the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reform- 
ers ; he also filled the position of Grand Worthy Guide of the 
Grand Fountain for a number of years. And while holding 
these positions, as in all others with which Mr. Holmes has 
been identified, he rendered valuable service and gave whole- 
some advice for the advancement of the institution. 

At the death of the late B. W. Rivers, Grand Worthy Mas- 
ter Rev. W. L. Taylor appointed him Deputy-General of the 
Southern Grand Division, with headquarters at Richmond, 
Va. As Deputy-General, his work has been unsurpassed; he 
has gained and held the respect of all with whom he has 
chanced to meet, and the judgment of Grand Worthy Master 
Rev. W. L. Taylor in appointing him has been loudly com- 
mended. With limited educational advantages, Mr. Holmes 
has forged his way to the front among the leaders of his 
Race, and is an ocular demonstration of what may be accom- 
plished by push and pluck. 

The subject of this sketch learned in early youth to perform 
well his duty, which distinguished him, as stated above, and 
this characteristic of devotion to duty has followed him 
through life ; and to-day he recognizes that faithfulness at the 
post of duty is one of the noblest attributes of manhood, and 
from it man cannot desert without proving false to himself, 
to his fellow-man and to his God. Though around the post 
of duty storms and rages the hottest conflict of life, yet in the 
midst thereof Mr. Holmes has never vacated his post or asked 
for a furlough. 

Aside from his high connection with the Grand Fountain, 


Mr. Holmes has contributed very largety to the social- and 
religious welfare of his people. For about twelve years he 
has been an influential member of the deaconry of the First 
Baptist church of Richmond. He is full of civic, State and 
national pride, and as a result of economy he has placed him- 
self upon the list of substantial property holders of the Race. 

The unrelenting world yields a place to such self-made, self- 
reliant, true and tried men as is the subject of this sketch. A 
man strong in purpose and strong in action, as evidenced by 
the success that almost invariably attend his efforts to settle 
disputes and misunderstandings within the rank and file of 
the Brotherhood and to restore peace — an essenial to success. 
He was often, by the late Rev. W. W. Browne, specially se- 
lected and sent to take charge of some of the most strategic 
points; and the Rev. Dr. W. L. Taylor, a most worthy suc- 
cessor to Rev. Browne, has found him no less a power for the 
protection and preservation of the rights and interests of the 
Organization, and to that end, the Grand "Worthy Master not 
unfrequently directs Mr. Holmes to fill his engagements, when 
unavoidably prevented, and is content to know that Holmes 
is upon the ground. 

As long as the world shall be in need of men of strength in 
State and church, in public and private life, in work for the 
benefit of mankind and in work for the glory of God, men of 
the type of Mr. A. "W. Holmes will be in demand. 


Director and Superintendent Old Folios Homes. 

The subject of this sketch was born of humble parentage, in 
Caroline county, Va., March 16, 1876. 

At an early age he showed signs indicative of an industrious, 
sober and prominent man. His father being a minister of the 
gospel and otherwise serving the public, was seldom at home ; 
thus his son, the subject of this sketch, was left in charge of 
the farm and made responsible for the operation of the same, 


together with the protection of the rest of the family, at the 
very early age of twelve years. 

He attended Sunday-school regularly and also public school 
during the winter months, after his crops had been housed. 
He was obedient to his parents and honored and respected 
them. He enjo3 7 ed the confidence of not only his parents, but " 
his associates as well. His father accepted a position as 
Deputy in the True Reformers in 1885, leaving the son in 
charge of the home affairs. It might be truly said that the 
success and rapid promotion of Rev. W. L. Taylor from Dep- 
uty to Deputy-General and Vice-President, was partly due to 
the very creditable manner in which his son conducted his 
home affairs, thus giving him an opportunity to engage in the 
work that took him from home, but that was destined to ac- 
complish great things. Mr. Taylor having assumed the re- 
sponsibility above referred to, made it impossible for him to 
acquire much learning prior to 1893. In September of the 
same year he entered the Norfolk Mission College, at Norfolk, 
Va., where he remained for a year, and passed a successful 
examination. Having learned of the Virginia Normal and 
Collegiate Institute at Petersburg, Va,, in the fall of 1894 he 
entered that institution, where he began a course of study, 
which he completed with honor in 1899. Having received a 
diploma from this college, he was anxious to pursue a profes- 
sional course, but finally decided to cast his lot with the Grand 
Fountain, U. O. T. R,, and assist in making it what it is 
destined to be. He first accepted a position as Assistant Chief 
of Finance department of the General Office, which position 
he filled until he was, by reason of his previous experience in t 
agriculture, appointed manager and superintendent of the Old 
Folk's Home department. He has also filled the position of 
clerk of the Hotel Reformer. 

At this stage, Mr. Taylor fully decided to settle down in 
life and make the best use of his opportunities, and in October, 
1904, he was united in holy wedlock with Miss Mary E. Wil- 
liams, one of the accomplished young ladies of Richmond. 


Two little girls have been added to their family, both of whom 
show signs of exceptional brightness and bid fair to be useful 

As his work grew he thought that it was necessary that he 
should better prepare himself to meet the demands of the 
hour; thus he matriculated in the law department of Shaw 
University and studied privately under Lawyer J. C. Robert- 
son, Attorney for the True Reformers — not as a profession, 
but to add to his storehouse of knowledge and aid him in 
better performing the functions of his office. 

Mr. Taylor is a young man; yet having used his oppor- 
tunities well, he stands high in the estimation of his associates. 
He is a member of Jerusalem Baptist church, Doswell, Va., 
and a teacher in the Sunday-school. He is a member of sev- 
eral local as we] 1 as national societies, all of which hold him 
in high estimation. He is a member of the Executive Board 
of the Grand Fountain, and also Director of said institution 
and its Savings Bank. 

He is a conscientious and judicious officer, and is destined 
to rise high in the scale of usefulness. 


Editor and Chief of "The Reformer.'''' 

Mr. E. W. Brown, the subject of this sketch, was born in 
18G4, and was reared at Drewryville, Va. His parents were 
Ed. and Euseba Brown. He attended the public schools of 
that county under the tutorship of Professor J. W. Cromwell. 
From youth he entertained a great love for literary achieve- 
ments. He lost his father in the War of the Rebellion, which 
loss made it very difficult for him to obtain an education. At 
the age of eleven years he became a member of the Baptist 
church, under the pastorate of Rev. Joseph Gregory*, of 
Franklin, Va. Early in life he evinced the peculiar fitness 
as a Sunday-school worker. At the age of twelve years he 


was elected clerk of his church, and served in this capacity 
as long as he remained at Drewryville. His record as a clerk 
was one of considerable note, and won for him many friends. 
When but a boy he very often accompanied the pastor on his 
annual trips to associations and conventions. He entered the 
Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute at the age of fifteen 
years, where he prepared himself for teaching. When he was 
in his eighteenth year he left Hampton and entered the public 
school system in Prince George county as a teacher. There 
he remained and taught continuously until 1896. 

During his stay in Prince George county, Mr. Brown en- 
tered the political world as a most fluent speaker. He was 
eagerly sought and listened to throughout the Fourth Con- 
gressional District, It was during the memorable contest for 
congressional honors between the late James D. Brady and 
Joseph P. Evans that he made himself felt as a potent factor 
in Virginia politics. His constituents were so well pleased 
over his successful campaign that in the spring following, he 
was nominated and unanimously elected to the office of com- 
missioner of revenue. In July, 1893, he qualified for office in 
the circuit court in the city of Petersburg, under a five thou- 
sand dollars bond, with Colonel James D. Brady and John Y. 
Harris as his bondsmen. Though elected commissioner of 
revenue, his record as a public school teacher was so good that 
the school authorities succeeded in urging him to remain in 
the schoo] room, and accordingly appointed several deputy 
commissioners to assist him in executing the duties of his 
office. This position he held for eight years, with credit and 

In 1894 Mr. Brown was united in wedlock to Miss Nannie 
Euffin Allen, from which union two children were born — 
George Willie Clement and Marion Eulalia. 

While in Prince George county, he engaged in various kinds 
of business in order to render assistance to the Race. He was 
a prosperous farmer, having at times quite a number of per- 
sons in his employ. He was also a merchant. 


He has read considerably, and is still a student. He read 
medicine under the supervision of Dr. D. T. Rowland and law 
under Hon. J. C. Robertson. Having a great desire to com- 
plete his course in medicine, he came to Richmond in the 
spring of 1896. where he might find better facilities for the 
pursuit of his studies. In coming to Richmond, he was em- 
ployed by the late Rev. W. W. Browne as a clerk in the 
Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain, U. O. T. R., after 
which he was sent to Southampton county as a Deputy. In 
two months he succeeded in organizing a number of clubs and 
setting up five Fountains; he also succeeded in securing three 
hundred new subscriptions to Tlw He former. 

On returning to Richmond, his work was so highly appre- 
ciated and endorsed, to the extent that he was appointed Edi- 
tor and Chief of The Reformer department, which position he 
now holds, as the successor of the late Hon. John H. Smythe, 
former Editor of The Reformer. The Reformer has become 
one of the most widely read sheets in the country under the 
editorship of Mr. Brown. In Richmond, as well as in his 
native county, he has taken an active part in church and so- 
ciety work, connecting himself with the Mt. Carmel Baptist 
church, and the faithful discharge of his duties have served 
to elevate him to the board of deacons, a member of the board 
of trustees, and clerk of the church. 

He is identified with many fraternal organizations, being a 
member of Capital City Lodge, Xo. 11. I. B. P. O. E. ; past 
master of Henrico Lodge. Xo. 41. A. F. and A. M., and is 
prominently connected with other organizations. He is a 
charter member of Brown Rock Fountain, Xo. 239, Prince 
George county, which Fountain he worked up in 1889, and it 
was organized by Mrs. Eliza Allen, Grand Worthy Governess, 
of. Petersburg. Va.. with a membership of ninety. 

In September, 1905, he lost his wife, who had been a great 
help to him : and in October, 190G, a second union was formed 
with Miss Minnie O. White, daughter of Rev. W. H. White, 
pastor of the Mt. Carmel Baptist church, Richmond, Va. 


Mr. Brown has done whatever he could to assist in building 
the work of Eichmond Division, which has resulted in the 
organizing of three Senior Fountains and two Rosebuds. The 
last Senior Fountain worked up by him was organized May 
27, 1907, with a membership of over forty persons. 


Deputy General (1893). 

Rev. Charles H. Phillips, the subject of this sketch, was 
born in 1857, in Louisa county, Va. He was the son of Jacob 
and Julia Phillips. 

When he was about ten years of age he was trained to work 
on his father's farm, and when he was about twelve years old 
he was hired out as a stemmer in a tobacco factory. From 
the factory he went to work on the railroad. 

In 1877, when he was twenty years of age, he professed a 
faith in Christ. In 1884 he was called to the pastorate of 
Union Baptist church, Beaver Dam, Va. It was in the year 
1885 that he first met the late Rev. W. W. Browne, who 
preached at the above named church on the third Sunday in 
May, 1885. Rev. Browne opened a convention at this time, 
which is now known as Beaver Dam Fountain, No. 39. It 
was at this meeting that Dr. W. L. Taylor met Rev. Browne; 
also Rev. W. L. Anderson, both of whom were introduced to 
Rev. Browne by the subject of this sketch. 

Rev. Phillips introduced the work of the Grand Fountain 
of the United Order of True Reformers in West Virginia, 
Western Pennsylvania, Delaware and Ohio. He was one of 
the first three Deputy-Generals, appointed in 1892, and had 
under his charge the Northern Grand Division. For ten 
years he worked for the upbuilding of the Order in ten States 
of the Union, and up to the time he resigned was one of the 
most successful Deputies, this fact being stated by the Grand 
Worthy Master. Rev. Phillips was also Grand Worthy Chap- 
lain for a number of years. 




Rev. W. L. Anderson was born at Beaver Dam, Va., May 16, 
1860, and was the son of Clifton and Judy Anderson. Being 
one of the oldest of fourteen children, it fell to his lot to assist 
his father in the rearing of the family; in consequence of 
which his opportunities for an education were limited to an 
irregular attendance at the public schools of his native town. 
Later in life, realizing his lost opportunity, he took advan- 
tage of the night schools of Pittsburg, Pa., and also took 
private instructions. 

It seemed that he was destined, as many are, to help others, 
and he cheerfully undertook the care of his beloved grand- 
mother during the last eighteen years of her life. She was 
blessed to attain the age of one hundred and fifteen years. 

Mr. Anderson entered the services of the Chesapeake and 
Ohio Railroad at an early age, and remained in the employ 
for many years. 

In 1881 he was married to Miss Elizabeth Marshall, one 
child blessing this union. 

In 188*2 he was converted at Beaver Dam, Va., and feeling 
that he was called to the work of the Master, he was licensed 
as a minister of the gospel. lie took up a special course in 
theology in 1889 in Pittsburg, Pa. lie was ordained in June, 
11)02, at the Central Baptist church, of Pittsburg, of which 
church he was a member. This was done by special request of 
the Ebenezer Baptist church, of Chicago, 111., under the lead- 
ership of the Rev. J. F. Thomas, I). I)., in appreciation of 
assistance rendered in missionary work in the Chicago field. 

He became identified with the Grand Fountain of the 
United Order of True Reformers in May, 1885, being initiated 
by Rev. William Washington Browne, the founder of the 
institution. He was a charter member of Beaver Dam Foun- 
tain, and was initiated with the present Grand Worthy Mas- 
ter and President, Rev. W. L. Taylor, both being elected as 


Supporters. He has built to the credit of the Grand Foun- 
tain more than one hundred and fifty Fountains and Rose- 
buds, and has built up several divisions, and he has been 
steadily advanced, step by step, from the position of the Sup- 
porter of the Fountain to Grand Worthy Sentinel, to the 
honored position of a member of the Board of Directors of the 
Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain, Old Folk's Homes and 
the Reformers' Mercantile and Industrial Association, and 
finally to the position of Deputy-General of the Western 
Grand Dhusion, which appointment he received September, 
1906. At the time of his appointment he was Chief of Cin- 
cinnati Division and State Deputy of Ohio. 

Rev. Anderson is a firm believer in the future of the Grand 
Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers. Though 
handicapped in the beginning of the great race of life, his 
natural integrity and honesty have won for him all the re- 
wards due the ever-faithful, Christian worker. 



Mr. R. L. Oliver, the subject of this sketch, was born in 
Pittsylvania county, Va., June 18, 1862, his parents being John 
Lee and Lamcy Oliver, with whom he remained until about 
nineteen years of age. 

He attended school at Bethany and Oak Grove principally, 
took private lessons, and attended night school whenever he 
could. His mother having eight children, and Robert being 
the third, he went to work as soon as he was large enough to 
assist in rearing the smaller ones. He could drive a four- 
horse team when he was too small to get on the wheel-horse 
without assistance. When large enougli to get on a horse by 
the use of traces, he was considered one of the best drivers. 
He knows well how to handle horses, having had the care and 
training of them for some of the leading and wealthiest 


He left home, with the consent of his mother, when about 
nineteen years of age, and found employment with a firm in 
Danville. Va.. at ten dollars per month. He was so attentive 
to his duties, worked hard and gave such general satisfaction, 
that his salary was increased to thirty dollars per month after 
the first year. After a period of two years, at the request of 
his mother and aunt, he returned home to work on the farm 
again. He remained there long enough to learn the mode of 
farming, and as he could get hands to work on the farm for 
ten dollars per month and do as much as he could, he decided 
to start out again. 

In the meantime there was a certain lady whom he had 
known since he was six years of age. having gone to school 
with her when a child. She was teaching at Stony Mills, and 
Mr. Oliver went to New York to seek employment, prepara- 
tory to marrying. In the year 1887 he returned home. After 
paying all expemes there was but little money left. She told 
him that money was not the question: so he was married to 
Miss Mattie A. Harris. January 11. 1888, at the Lynn Street 
A. M. E. church, she being one of it^ most active members. 

They proceeded to Richmond, where he found employment 
with A. Pizzini, Jr.. who was at that time carrying on the 
largest ice cream and catering business in the South, and Mr. 
Oliver was considered by the proprietor and the general man- 
ager as one of their best employee-. 

This was the beginning of his career with the True Re- 
formers. He had heard a great deal of Rev. W. TV. Browne 
and the Order of True Reformers. Later on. of the same year, 
Mr. R. T. Hill, through Mrs. Wilson Evans, was working up 
a club for a Fountain, and Mr. and Mrs. Oliver were some of 
the first to connect themselves with this Fountain, which was 
organized and known as Ivy Leaf Fountain, No. 219. Mr. 
Oliver was elected Worthy Master. He was so much im- 
pressed with the work of the True Reformers that he made it 
a point to mention it to every one with whom he came in con- 
tact. It was several months before he met Rev. Browne in 


person, at which time he asked him if he would like to better 
his condition. Mr. Oliver replied that as he was looking for- 
ward to better conditions he was a True Reformer. He con- 
tinued to push things by way of canvassing for the Organiza- 
tion as best he could, while still holding his work at Mr. Piz- 
zini's. He remained at this place for several years, after 
which he worked for the family of Mr. J. B. Pace, one of the 
leading families of the State. Rev. Browne made him several 
offers during that time, but having bought him a home, he 
did not wish to take chances, as the work was not sufficient to 
warrant much of a salary at that time. He did all that he 
could to build the work, but did not feel competent to fill a 
position, as he was not a good speaker. Rev. Browne, how- 
ever, seemed to have confidence in him, for he told him that he 
could develop as a speaker, as he was well-informed and had 
an honest face. On the 11th of January, 1893, he was installed 
as Chief of the Danville, Va., Division, where his work proved 
to be a success. In a short while he had organized several 
Fountains, put a large number in the Classes, and sold many 
shares of Bank stock. At the request of the Grand Master he 
came to headquarters, where he worked and canvassed. Later 
on the Grand Worthy Master wanted to send him West to 
open up new fields. He declined, and resigned temporarily, to 
accept a position with the Pullman Company, which would 
give him an excellent opportunity to travel and in the mean- 
time locate a good field for the work, without any expense to 
the institution. He did this for a few months with success, 
after which he received a very nice offer to locate in Louis- 
ville, Ky., from Mrs. W. W. Hite, the wife of Colonel W. W. 
Hite, one of the wealthiest families in the city. He accepted, 
and he and his wife arrived in Louisville on the 15th of De- 
cember, 1893. They had labored hard and God had blessed 

Mrs. Oliver has assisted in building the work of the Grand 
Fountain of the L T nited Order of True Reformers in every 
way possible. With the help of friends, twenty-five Senior 


Fountains have been organized in Louisville, Ky., and two at 
Clarksville, Tenn. Mr. Oliver also assisted with the work at 
Cincinnati, O., before they had a chief in charge. His Divi- 
sion has nearly two hundred members in the Class department, 
and he has sold over five thousand dollars' worth of stock. 

Their home has been blessed with two children — Robert Lee 
and Carrie Hope. Mr. and Mrs. Oliver are members of Quinn 
Chapel, A. M. E. church, and identified with the Young Men's 
Christian Association of Louisville, Ky. 

At the twenty-fourth annual session of the Grand Fountain 
of the United Order of True Reformers he was unanimously 
elected a member of the Board of Directors. 

S. W. HALL, 

Director and Chief, Danville, Va. 

The subject of this sketch was born of slave parents in 
Campbell county. Va.. in 1861. At an early age his parents 
moved to Halifax county, Va., where he was reared. He at- 
tended the public schools of that place for a short Avhile, and 
then his attention was turned to farming, which he followed 
for some years. In 1887 he moved to Manchester, Va., where 
he secured employment at the Old Dominion Iron Works, 
where he remained nine years. 

In June, 1881, he became a member of Morning Star Foun- 
tain, Xo. 13, of the Grand Fountain. United Order of True 
Reformers, and has continued^as a faithful and loyal member. 
He was trained as a canvasser for the Order. In 1896 he was 
appointed Chief of Manchester Division, which position he 
held for four years, organizing two Fountains and one Rose- 
bud. In 1000 he was appointed State Deputy, with headquar- 
ters at Newport News, Va.. where he assisted in organizing 
eleven Fountains and five Rosebuds. After one year, he was 
appointed Chief of Norfolk Division, where he succeeded in 
organizing thirteen Senior Fountains and fourteen Rosebuds. 


After serving with satisfaction in this Division for three 
years, he was appointed Chief of Norfolk and Portsmouth 
Divisions. While under his supervision, this Division was suc- 
cessful in securing the banner of the Southern Grand Division 
for the Old Folk's Homes rally. 

On September 23, 1891, he was married to Miss M. E. Hob- 
son, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Hobson, of Manchester, 
Va. This union has been blessed with three daughters and 
one son. 

In February, 1906, he was elected a member of the Board 
of Directors of the Grand Fountain, U. O. T. R. 


Rosebud Lecturer. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Raleigh, N. C, July 
9, 1865. Her parents were W. H. Washington and Mary Scales 
Washington. She was reared by her grandparents, Mr. and 
Mrs. P. H. Norwood. 

She attended the public schools of Raleigh, N. C, for a 
number of years, obtaining as good an education as could be 
afforded by the schools of that city. She afterward attended 
Shaw University, qualifying herself for service to her Race. 
At fourteen years of age she begun teaching in the public 
schools of North Carolina. 

Mrs. Lane was an accomplished woman. She had the gift 
of speech and eloquence as a public speaker, and was a ready 
thinker. She joined the Presbyterian church when she was 
eleven years of age. She became a member of the Grand 
Fountain, U. O. T. R., in the year 1893, and in a few weeks 
secured twenty persons as members. She was appointed Rose- 
bud Lecturer in 1902, which position she held at the time of 
her death. 




Chief, St. Louis Division. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Princeton, W. Va., 
December 25, 1868. He was the oldest son of Eliza and An- 
derson Ross, who were slaves. The education received by 
their son was from Bright Hope School, at Hinton, TV. Va. 
Here the books pursued were few and the course limited. He 
was married to Lizzie Prior, August 8, 1888. 

He held prominent political offices, being elected justice of 
the peace of Sewell Mountain District in 1902, and was later 
appointed "truant officer" of Fayette county. He connected 
himself with Lillie Rose Fountain, No. 590, of the Grand 
Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, January 16, 1897, 
at Sewell, TV. Va., and was placed as State Deputy of West 
Virginia, July 1, 1897. He was elected Grand Worthy Picket 
Guard at the twenty-first annual session. 

The Class membership and stockholders' list were greatly 
enlarged and thirty-one Subordinate Fountains and eight 
Rosebuds were organized. 

He was appointed Chief of St. Louis Division October 9, 
1903, and orgnnizecl sixteen Subordinate Fountains and five 
Rosebuds in Missouri, saying naught of the number of mem- 
bers placed in old Fountains and Rosebuds or in other de- 
partments of the institution. 


Director, Grand Worthy Mistress and Rosebud Lecturer, 
Northern Grand Division. 

Mrs. Rosa Thompson, Grand Worthy Mistress of the Grand 
Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, was born De- 
cember 18, 1864, in Charlotte county, Va., of slave parents — 
Charles and Eliza Hasten, who were devout Christians. 

She attended the Piney Grove school on rainy days, when 


she could not work on the farm or when her sister did not go. 
At the age of thirteen she became a member of the Mossing- 
ford Baptist church. 

In 1888 she joined the Silver Stream Fountain, No. 2, of 
Richmond, Va. In 1891 she assisted her husband in working 
up the Rose Fountain, No. 382, of Richmond, in which she still 
holds her membership. In 1896 she was appointed Associate 
Chief to her husband at Norfolk, Va. In 1899 she was ap- 
pointed Rosebud Lecturer of the Southern Grand Division, 
and in 1900 she was transferred to the Northern Grand Divi- 
tion as Rosebud Lecturer, with headquarters at Philadelphia. 
In 1899, at the nineteenth annual session, she was elected 
Grand Worthy Left Herald. In 1902, at the twenty-second 
annual session, she was elected Grand Worthy Mistress, which 
position she still holds. She is also a member of the Board of 
Directors of the institution. 

She has assisted in organizing more than one hundred Foun- 
tains, and has organized nearly one hundred Rosebud Nurse- 
ries. In 1902 she opened up a new territory in Western Penn- 
sylvania by organizing five Senior Fountains, four Rosebud 
Nurseries, and collecting a handsome sum for the Old Folk's 

Mrs. Thompson has planned and conducted Old Folk's Home 
rallies, from which more than twelve thousand dollars have 
been realized. 

She is the founder and organizer of the Rosebud Nursery 
Convention of the Brotherhood, and is president of the Rose- 
bud Convention of the Northern Grand Division. 

Mrs. Thompson is a devout Christian, an indefatigable 
worker and a zealous Race woman of the most pronounced 
type. She is unquestionably the leading spirit in the Rosebud 



Rosehud Lecturer, Southern Grand Division. 

The subject of this sketch was born at Louisa Courthouse, 
Va., September 19, 1870. She is the daughter of the late 
Joseph James and Bettie A. Veney. Her early childhood was 
spent in Louisa county, where she attended the public schools. 
She lost her father by death at the age of ten years. She 
was the sixth child of a family of ten children. Having com- 
pleted the public school course, she felt called upon to assist 
her mother in caring for the family, and while engaged in 
ctoing so, she sought earnestly to improve herself hj con- 
tinuous stud}'. 

She was married to Mr. A. W. Holmes, of Richmond, Va., 
August 15, 1889. In 1892 she became interested in the 
work of the Grand Fountain, United Order of True 
Reformers, in which her husband was engaged, and be- 
came a member of Twilight Fountain, of Richmond. She 
was appointed Messenger of the same, and later was appointed 
Assistant Chief of the Regalia department, where she labored 
earnestly for the advancement of this department, as well as 
every department connected with the Organization. After 
serving faithfully in this department for two years, she was 
then appointed assistant manager of the FTotel Reformer. 
She succeeded so well in building up the patronage of the 
hotel that in January, 1905, she was made manager in her 
husband's stead, and as such labored with untiring zeal for 
the success and welfare of every department of the Organiza- 
tion, as well as the hotel. 

April 22, 1907, she was appointed Rosebud Lecturer of the 
Southern Grand Division, to succeed the late Mrs. M. A. Lane, 
which position she is now filling with honor and success to 
the Brotherhood. Mrs. Holmes is a zealous Christian of noble 
character, and a most amiable and successful worker for the 



Chief Deputy. 

David E. Hill was born in Allegheny, Pa., August 15, 1879, 
and is the oldest living child of Curtis and Winnie Hill. His 
parents spared no pains in giving him an early home and 
religious training, which brought him into much prominence 
in the Sunday-school and church work of Tabernacle Baptist 
church, of Allegheny, Pa. 

The public and high schools of Allegheny city afforded him 
his educational opportunities, of which he took advantage, fin- 
ishing his course at the age of sixteen. In the last years of his 
school life he was the only colored student in the classes, and 
always enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his teachers and 

Desiring to be of some assistance to his widowed mother 
upon coming out of school, he obtained employment with 
L. I. Neff, a florist of Pittsburg, Pa., with whom he remained 
three years, only leaving to accept a position with the Grand 
Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers. 

He joined Dewey Fountain, No. 1057, in 1898, and was made 
its Messenger, taking a very active part in the affairs of Pitts- 
burg Division. He was sent as a delegate from Dewey Foun- 
tain to the memorable eighteenth annual session, which con- 
vened in Richmond. This trip revealed to him the true condi- 
tion of the Race, and its accomplishments in the South, and 
at the adjournment of this session he returned home a changed, 
yet wiser person, enthused with the work of the Organization. 

In February, 1899, he was tendered a position in the Main 
Office of the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True 
Reformers, in Richmond, Va., and accepted the same, becom- 
ing assistant stockkeeper in the Supply department, which 
position he held until January, 1902, when he was sent to 
Charleston, S. C, in charge of the True Reformers' exhibit 
at the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposi- 
tion. He remained at this post, advertising the institution, 


especially throughout the South, until the close of the exposi- 
tion in June, 1902. He returned to the Main Office, where he was 
transferred to the Bank department, the Grand Fountain and 
Subordinate Fountain books being placed under his charge. 
While holding this position he introduced the little "Savings 
Bank" into many homes, spending several hours each day in 
this work. 

In April, 1904, he was appointed Assistant Chief of Real 
Estate, assisting J. C. Robertson, Attorney, in the work of 
his department, until December, 1905, when he was appointed 
as Chief of Richmond Division, succeeding Mr. A. W. Holmes, 
who had been appointed Deputy-General of the Southern 
Grand Division. He was installed in office January 2, 1906, 
and is at present holding that position. Mr. Hill recognizes 
the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers 
as the "door of opportunity" to the Negro Race. 


Chief* ~\Y aslxincjton, D. C. 

Mr. W. R. Griffin was born September 0, 1870, in Campbell 
county, near Lynchburg, Va., his parents, John and Jane Grif- 
fin having been slaves. This union was blessed with four sons 
and four daughters, of which numerous progeny the subject 
of this sketch was one. 

One brother, upon whom W. R. depended for his education, 
was one of the victims of smallpox in 1883; hence he was 
deprived of the educational advantages that he had hoped for 
and for which his parents had so often prayed. At the early 
age of thirteen years he returned home from school, realizing 
that his hopes for a college education were blasted. He de- 
cided that he would sacrifice his hopes for anything that 
would console his parents in their declining years. He con- 
tinued in school for four years, assisting his father during 
vacation on the farm. At the age of seventeen, finding that 


the responsibility of home and parents rested upon him, he 
left school and entered the railroad service as a common 
laborer. He soon won the respect of the officials, and was 
promoted to assistant cook, and later was placed in charge of 
the car as cook, which place he held for eleven years. 

While in the railroad service he purchased a farm near 
Lynchburg, in Campbell county, Va., which has proven to be 
a good investment. 

In November, 1894, he joined St. James Fountain, No. 11, 
United Order of True Reformers, and in January, 1899, he 
left the service of the railroad company and took training in 
the Main Office of the Grand Fountain, at Richmond, Va. 
After being trained in every department of the Grand Foun- 
tain, on April 1, 1899, he was sent to Cincinnati, O., to take 
charge of the work there. He succeeded in organizing Foun- 
tains and Rosebuds in West Virginia, Ohio and Chicago, 111. 

In October, 1903, as a promotion, he was appointed to take 
charge of Washington, D. C, Division, and notwithstanding he 
was handicapped in his work there for fourteen months, he 
has organized ten Fountains and two Rosebuds in the District, 
making a total of fifty-one Subordinate Fountains and four- 
teen Rosebuds organized. He has handled in actual cash for 
the Grand Fountain since April, 1899, one hundred and twen- 
ty-five thousand dollars. He also served as manager of the 
Reformers' store in Washington, together with his other duties. 

He has served as president of the Colored Grocerjanen's 
Union of the District, first vice-president of the Local Busi- 
ness Men's League, one of the' executive officers of the Y. M. 
C. A., and a member of the finance committee of the National 
Young People's Christian Educational Congress, which con- 
vened in Washington in 1906. He received an appointment 
from President Roosevelt as a notary public for the District 
of Columbia for five years. 

He is an ardent supporter of the principles laid down in 
True Reformerism, considering the Order the greatest of its 
kind among Negroes in this country. 



General Accountant. 

Prof. Albert V. Norrell, the first accountant and a private 
secretary of the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True 
Reformers, entered the Order as a charter member of Eureka 
Fountain, No. 89, in 1887. This Fountain was organized at 
the residence of Grand Worthy Master AA r . AY. Browne, No. 
105 West Jackson street, which was then the office of the 
institution. The Fountain was initiated at the hall of the 
Organization, which was over the fish market, corner of Sixth 
and Broad streets. This Fountain boomed, and was soon 
followed by Fidelity, Star of Bethlehem and Helena Foun- 
tains. Prof. Norrell joined Class E, Circle 11, in 1888, and 
was the first secretary of his Fountain, serving for many years. 

In September, 1888, AY. AA T . Browne appointed him account- 
ant and his private secretary. At this time the office force 
consisted of Grand AA^orthy Secretary AA r . P. Burrell, Mrs. 
Laura Smith, assistant secretary, and Mrs. M. E. Burrell, 

At the Danville session of the Grand Fountain, held in Sep- 
tember, 1889, Prof. Norrell received the Grand Fountain de- 
gree. At the AA T ashington session of 1890, he read the first 
Bank report, the Cashier, R. T. Hill, being detained at home 
on account of his duties. The Bank was then at No. 105 West 
Jackson street. 

After the Washington session, under the supervision of 
Grand AA^orthy Master AY. AA r . Browne and Grand Worthy 
Secretary AY. P. Burrell, he revised and compiled the consti- 
tution, which was a very difficult task of collecting, culling, 
classifying and arranging all of the legislation of the Order 
from its organization, giving it the first alphabetical indexed 
constitution. He also had charge of the Class department. 
As private secretary, he acted as secretary of the Executive 
Committee of the Grand Fountain in 1889, 1890, 1891 and 
1892. In October, 1892, he was succeeded by George W. Lewis, 
Esq., being unable to give his whole time to the Order. 


As a testimonial of his high character, fitness and qualifi- 
cation as an expert accountant, he was presented with a letter 
of recommendation, signed by W. W. Browne, W. P. Burrell, 
R. T. Hill and Miles B. Jones, and a handsome gold pen. 

Afterward his Fountain elected him as representative to the 
annual sessions of 1894, 1895, 1897, 1898 and 1904. He served 
on the important committees, credential, bank and insurance. 

It was Prof. jSTorrell that, at the session of 1895, moved that 
the Kev. William Washington Browne be paid twenty thou- 
sand dollars for his plans. He is still a loyal member of the 


The subject of this sketch was born in Hampton, Vj., of 
slave parents. His education was begun in 18G2 at Old Point 
Comfort, Va., in a school started for freedmen by sympathetic 
white friends in the North. In 1864 his parents moved to 
Hampton, Va., and in 1865 he entered the school there known 
as the Butler School, having been built by General Butler, of 
Civil War fame. From this school he went to Hampton Nor- 
mal, from which he was graduated in 1872. 

In 1874 he married Miss Maria L. Chisman, a classmate of 
his, and one of the first two colored girl graduates of Tide- 
water. They both taught in the public schools for a number 
of years. 

Mr. Phillips held the position of principal of Lincoln School 
for a number of years. During this time he was elected magis- 
trate, and served eight years. He was elected by a Demo- 
cratic Legislature as a member of the first Council of Hamp- 
ton, and had the honor of being one of the "City Fathers." 
Often during the absence of the Mayor on his vacations, at 
the request of the Mayor and with the concurrence of the 
Council, he acted as Mayor. 

He has a f amity of five — four girls and one boy — which re- 


fleets great credit upon him and his wife as parents. The 
oldest daughter, Marion, married Mr. W. B. Morris, of Bed- 
ford City, Va. ; the next oldest, Margaret B., is a teacher in 
the Richmond city school, and the other two daughters are 
clerks in the General Office of the True Reformers. The 
youngest, a boy, is. still in school. 

Mr. Phillips, seeing the possibility of the True Reformers 
as a financial uplift of the Race, in 1888 became identified 
with them as a charter member of Queen Vashti Fountain, 
No. 207, which was the first Fountain organized in Hampton, 
Va. He and his wife were among the first to take up the work 
there, when it was yet in its infancy. He has held the posi- 
tion of general business clerk in the General Office for fifteen 

He and his family are members of St. Philip's P. E. church, 
and are actively engaged in church work. 


Medical Director. 

Dr. John Meriweather, the subject of this sketch, was born 
in Richmond, Va., March 14, 1866. He attended the public 
schools of Richmond until 1880, at which time he left school 
and took up the printers' trade. After leaving school he 
served for nine years as a printer in Richmond and in New 
York. In Richmond he worked for quite awhile on the In- 
dustrial Herald, which was published by Mr. John Oliver 
at the Moore Street Industrial Institute. Dr. Meriweather 
worked on the first numbers of the Industrial Herald, as well 
as The Planet, as a compositor, and he "set" over half of the 
reading matter in the first issue of The Planet. 

He arrived in New York in 1883, and for a time he worked 
in some of the largest publishing houses in that city. 

In 1889 he entered Bellevue Hospital College and graduated 
in medicine in 1892. He has practiced medicine continuously 
in Richmond nearly eighteen years. 


He was appointed by Eev. W. L. Taylor, Grand Worthy 
Master, as Grand Medical Examiner in 1902. In 1893 he be- 
came a member of Eureka Fountain, No. 89, of the Grand 
Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, from which he 
afterwards transferred to Twilight Fountain, No. 193, in 
which he has held many positions of trust. 

As Grand Medical Examiner of the Organization, Dr. Meri- 
weather has thrown his heart and soul into all questions per- 
taining to the medical direction of the Organization, and great 
benefit has accrued to the Organization from his supervision. 
He is a wide-awake, public-spirited man, and is known for his 
great, charitable deeds ; but he does not like for his charitable 
acts to be mentioned. 

He is one of the founders and promoters of the Eichmond 
Hospital Association, and at the time of its organization was 
the largest stockholder, having contributed four times as 
much as any other single promoter. He is a large and promi- 
nent stockholder in the Mechanics' Bank, Eichmond, Va., and 
carries stock in many of the largest concerns of the country 
whose stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. 


Mr. H. H. Winters was born in Jefferson county, W. Va., 
March 10, 1860. His grandmother sent him to the public 
school and gave him his early training, and to her he owes his 
success in life. 

Since fourteen he went through the public school, summer 
institutes and Storer College, and was a student of the Agri- 
cultural College of Pennsylvania. 

He taught in the public schools of West Virginia for twenty- 
one years; afterward became teacher of gardening and hus- 
bandry in Storer College. 

He served as Grand Master of the Masons for the State of 
West Virginia four years, and five years Special Deputy High 
Priest for the State. 


He married in 1902 Lizzie C, daughter of A. H. and Mory 
E. Lincoln, and three children — Ava E., Flordia A. and H. H., 
Jr. — were born. He bought a home and became a depositor in 
the Grand Fountain's Bank. 

In 1902 he joined John Brown Fountain, Xo. 1830, organ- 
ized in Harper's Ferry. He was made mutual treasurer, and 
very soon its Past Master, County Deputy, then Special Dep- 
uty, and now Chief of Harper's Ferry Division. 


P. H. Scott, the subject of this sketch, was born near Rox- 
boro, Pearson county, X. C, on the 3d of June, 1867. He was 
the son of Stephen and Jane Scott. 

In 1879 he entered the public school of Halifax county, Va., 
where he remained for five years. He was taken from school 
and hired out at Danville, Va., in a factory. There he learned 
how to roll tobacco, and he remained in this position until 
1881. He then decided to take up hotel work, which he fol- 
lowed for about three years, but returned to the tobacco fac- 
tory, where he worked for several years. 

In 1888 he joined the Grand Fountain of the United Order 
of True Reformers, and was appointed as Special Deputy by 
Rev. W. W. Browne in the county of Pittsylvania. Va. He 
remained in this field until September, 1893, when he was ap- 
pointed Chief of Danville, Va. Later Mr. Scott was appointed 
Chief at Greensboro, X. C. 

He is one of the staunch supporters of the Organization and 
a tireless and energetic worker. 

MR. J. W. PEXX, 

Chief Deputy. 

Mr. J. W. Penn was born in 1808 near Penn's Store, Henry 
county, Va. He was the first child of Elizabeth and Read 
Penn. He attended a county free school in Henry county 


four sessions. In the year 1883 he worked in a tobacco factory 
during the spring, summer and fall months, and attended the 
Martinsville graded school through the three winter months, 
until the year 1885. 

He married Lady C. Martin, of Bidgeway, Va., in 1887. 
He joined Happy Union Fountain, No. 558, Martinsville, Va., 
August 18, 1893, studied the law and ritualistic work of the 
Order, and brought in new members. In 1903 he bought a 

He professed faith in Christ in 1893 and joined the High 
Street Baptist church, of Martinsville, Va., and was made 
deacon within six months. He worked regularly for the church 
and for the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers. 
His first work for the Order was to work up Rosebud No. 644, 
and Martinsville Enterprise Fountain, No. 2425. In October, 
1906, he was ordered to headquarters to take training for field 
work; after four weeks was sent to Southwestern Virginia, 
with headquarters at East Radford. In January, 1907, he 
was transferred to Durham, N. C, as Chief of Durham Divi- 


Chief, Indianapolis, Ind. 

The subject of this sketch, Mr. J. M. Braden, was born in 
Jiles county, Tenn., in 1865. His parents were Horace and 
Catherine Braclen. He lived on a farm until about fifteen 
years of age, and attended the Lenville school. Later on, 
while yet in his teens, he was made foreman of a large stock 
farm. In 1882 his parents moved to Nashville, Tenn., and 
here he attended the high school for a couple of terms. He 
worked as a carriage finisher, having learned this trade, and 
also held a position as shipping clerk and salesman in a large 
furniture store. During the time that he lived in Nashville 
he gave much time to the study of vocal music, doing much 
work in concerts and church choirs. In the year 1893 he 


moved to St. Lous, Mo., and in the fall of the same year se- 
cured a position as salesman in a large furniture store, which 
position he held until 1906. He was a class leader at St. Paul 
Chapel, St. Louis, for twelve years. He first gave his atten- 
tion to the True Reformers in 1S ( .)7. at which time he was ini- 
tiated into the Order, and immediately took up the work as 
canvasser. He was appointed Organizing Deputy at Sedalia, 
Mo., which was an entirely new held. He succeeded in organ- 
izing four Fountains and one Rosebud. In October, 1908, he 
was transferred to Indianapolis. Ind., as Chief of the Division. 


Dt puty. 

The subject of this sketch was boru May 20, 1883, on a farm 
owned by his parent-. Mose I), and Fannie E. Watkins, where 
they now live, near Villa Ridge, Pulaski county, Illinois. He 
completed the county school course, graduating in L900. He 
worked on the farm for two years, and then moved to Chi- 
cago, 111., where he was employed in the Armour packing 
house. In L903 he moved to Decatur. 111., where he took a 
three-year course in the Decatur school. He was manager of 
the Decatur Grocery Company, in which he owned a large 
interest, and in L906 he wenl into the real estate, loan and in- 
surance business. II" is a member of the Real Estate Asso- 
ciation. He is an active member of the A. M. E. church. He 
joined the Grand Fountain, U. O. T. R., in H)04. being a 
member of Decatur Star Fountain, No. 1961, which was the 
first Fountain organized in Central Illinois. In 1 ( .)0(> he was 
appointed Special Deputy, and in 11)07 he was appointed 
Chief Deputy for Central and Southern Illinois. He has been 
a delegate to the annual session three times, and is a member 
of the Advisory Board of the Rosebud department of the 
Western Division. He is Past Chancellor of the Grand Lodge, 
Knights of Pythias, of the State of Illinois, and also a mem- 
ber of the G. IT. O. of Odd Fellows. 



The subject of this sketch, J. Davenport Bushelle, D. D., 
was born in Princess Anne county, Va., October 22, 1874. His 
parents were Henry and Mary Bushelle. He was educated at 
Gloucester College, Virginia, 1896, and became a teacher there 
in September of the same year. He entered the United States 
Navy at Portsmouth, Va., July 28, 1898, volunteering his ser- 
vice in the Spanish- American War. His first service w T as ren- 
dered on board the United States ship Alexander, sister ship 
to the Merrimac. He rated here as a ward-room cook, serv- 
ing in this capacity until his ship took fire in Hampton Roads. 
In September, 1898, he was transferred to the United States 
ship Portland, rating the same as on the former vessel, until 
the 11th of November, when, as a volunteer, he w 7 as mustered 
out of the service at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. A second en- 
listment was made January 21, 1899, at Norfolk, Va., and 
here he was advanced from ward-room cook to ward-room 
steward. After making a voyage from Norfolk to San Fran- 
cisco, he applied for his discharge, resigned his position, and 
took up the work of the gospel ministry. In April, 1899, he 
located in San Francisco, Cal., and accepted the pastorate of 
the Second Baptisl church, of Stockton, Cal., July 8th of the 
same year. He was married to Miss Lucretia Garfield Jones, 
of Alameda. Cal., July 24, 1900. He has pastored successfully 
in Stockton, Sacramento, Bakersfield and Pasadena, Cal. He 
resigned his pastorate of the Metropolitan Baptist church, of 
Pasadena, July 18. 1907, to take up the work of the True Re- 
formers, and since his appointment as Chief at Cincinnati, O., 
May 1, 1908. he has put up eight Senior Fountains. He has 
accepted, in connection with his work of the True Reformers, 
the pastorate of the First Baptist church, of Covington, Ky. 
He received the degree of D. B. from Conroe College in May, 
1909. He first became connected with the work of the True 
Reformers in May, 1907. 



State Deputy, Harrisonburg, Va. 

Mr. Saint Jones was born in Lynchburg, Va., February 
28, 1881. He is the son of Henry and Edith Jones. 
At an early age he went with his parents to Amherst 
county, Va. His father died when he was quite a boy, 
and he was reared by the family of Captain Jesse E. 
Adams (white) on a farm near Cool Well. His early educa- 
tional advantages were received under the instruction of Silas 
N. Berry, of his home town. Here he entered school, being 
financially assisted by Eev. R. D. Merchant, pastor of the First 
Baptist church of Amherst. After spending several years in 
school, he went into the grocery business, aud in this capacity 
did good work for about two years, this store being situated 
on his farm, near Cool Well. He taught in the public schools 
of Amherst for about four years. In 1904 he joined the True 
Reformers. He gave up teaching in 1005 and pursued a busi- 
ness course at the training school of the Grand Fountain, 
United Order of True Reformers, at Richmond, Va. When 
he had finished his training, in 1000, he was appointed as 
Chief of one of the Southern Divisions, with headquarters at 
Charlotte, X. C. After working there one year, he was sent 
to the Valley of Virginia, with headquarters at Harrisonburg. 
Since he entered the work of the Organization his office record 
shows that he has initiated over five hundred members into 
the institution, organizing ten new Fountains. 


Chief, Florence, S. C. 

The subject of this sketch, Elizabeth L. Dixon, was born on 
a farm, near News Ferry, Va., December 18, 1875. Becoming 
an orphan at the early age of five years, she was adopted by 
her uncle, Charles Coleman. She graduated from the public 

GRAND FOUNTAIN. U. 6. T. R. 443 

school at the age of fifteen, and passed the State Board exami- 
nation and was appointed assistant teacher, as she was then 
too young to be given a school. On September 4, 1892, she 
was married to Rev. James Edward Dixon, of Front Royal, 
Va., who was at that time the pastor of the church of which 
she was a member. She became a widow in 1902, and at the 
time of the death of her husband she was teaching at Cedar- 
ville, Ya. At the close of her school she went to Hartford, 
Conn., where she began a hospital training as a nurse. Having 
finished the first year there, she was very successful as a nurse, 
and for three years she traveled with invalids ; during that time 
she traveled every State of the Union, Mexico and Canada. 
In 1907, she was forced to give up this work on account of 
throat trouble. 

She went to Washington, D. G, to attend an annual confer- 
ence of the C. M. E. church, being president of the missionary 
society of said conference. While there she was persuaded by 
Mr. W. R. Griffin to renew her membership in the True Re- 
formers. She decided to do so, and begun at once to canvass in 
the interest of the Order. She was able in twenty days to add 
fifteen members to an old club, and thereby made M. A. Lane 
Fountain, No. 2702, and also added a Rosebud Nursery of 
forty children in thirty days.' She was elected a delegate to the 
Grand Session, and from there appointed State Deputy for 
South Carolina. In 1908 she was made Chief of Florence, 
S. C, Division, having added directly, from May, 1907, to 
May, 1909, one hundred and seventy-five members to the Order, 
while numbers of others have- been brought in through her 


Chief, Raleigh, N. G. 

The subject of this sketch, Rev. J. W. Ligon, A. M., Chief 
of Raleigh Division, was born in the county of Wake, near 
Raleigh, X. C, November, 1868. His parents were both slaves, 


his father being able to read, but not write. To them were 
born eleven children, the subject of this sketch being the fifth 
child. Having attended the public schools of his own county, 
he entered Shaw University in 1889, from which he was grad- 
uated with the degree of bachelor of arts in 1897, having 
worked his way through school. He has held the principal - 
ship of the public school of Wake Forest, X. C, the chair of 
English literature at Shaw University, and principal of the 
Crosby graded school, at Raleigh, X. C. Beside being a suc- 
cessful teacher. Rev. Ligon is a strong gospel preacher. His 
worth as a pastor was demonstrated while pastor of the 
Second Baptist church of Raleigh, which he found with a 
mortgage debt of thirteen years' standing, but within two and 
one-half years after he took charge the debt was paid in full, 
valuable improvements made, and many souls added to the 
church. It was while pastor of this church that his alma 
mater honored him with the degree of A. M. In 1902 he be- 
came a member of the United Order of True Reformers, being 
a member of the club from which was set up Fountain No. 
1872, by the Grand Worthy Master. He was appointed Mes- 
senger of this Fountain, and in 1900 he was appointed Chief 
of Raleigh Division. Under his administration the Division 
has made much progress, some of the Fountains more than 
doubling in membership. A grocery company has been or- 
ganized and incorporated under the laws of the State of Xorth 
Carolina, and is doing a creditable business, and is doing 
much to strengthen and build up the Order. 

O. S. FOX. 

District Deputy and Chief, Cleveland, 0. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Richmond, Ind., 
March 20, 1851. His father. Rev. S. D. Fox, was a Baptist 
minister, born a slave in Virginia, and was one of the pioneer 
ministers of the State of Ohio. He received his schooling 


under his father, though never attending school for more than 
four months at any one time. He was reared in Brown county, 
near Cincinnati, O., and at the age of twenty passed the county 
examination and taught school in Batavia, Clermont county, 
in the spring of 1871. In the fall of that year his father moved 
to Springfield, O., where he was baptized and joined the Sec- 
ond Baptist church of that city the first Sunday in March, 
1873. He entered actively into the work of the church and 
Sunday-school. Educational advantages in those early days, 
even in Ohio, were rare, and he found himself financially em- 
barrassed and compelled, after completing the first year's 
course in the high school, to give up school work and make his 
way through life without reaching the goal of his ambition — 
a finished education. However, he studied in the evenings and 
at his employment, and in the fall of 1878 returned to the 
county where he first taught and secured a school in New 
Richmond, where he remained until the 14th of March, 1883. 
He resigned his position in the school there to accept a position 
in the Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. While in New Rich- 
mond, on the 11th of August, 1881, he married a young lady 
of that cit}^, Miss Nannie King. In 1901 he worked up a club 
of thirty persons, which was later organized into a Fountain 
of the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers. 
There was but one Fountain in that city at that time. In Sep- 
tember, 1901, he attended the annual session of the Grand 
Fountain for the first time, and after returning home he en- 
tered into the work with new zeal. He added on an average 
of two Fountains a year until there were ten Fountains in 
that city. He has worked up fifteen Fountains and eight Rose- 
buds in his Division, and has risen, step by step, from Mes- 
senger to District Deputy and Chief of the Division. 



Chief, Annapolis, Md, 

Hezekiah Brown was born near Port Kepublic, Calvert 
county, Md., October 12, 1865. His parents were Marylanclers. 
The mother, with a deep jo}^ which escaped not in words, 
looked onward and tried to read the future, when the flood 
of years should have carried her new treasure from her arms. 
That flood has swept over her now, and all her highest hope 
and ambition is filled, and she is resting safe in heaven. 

Captain Thomas Brown, his father, has reached the age of 
ninety-four years, and bought his father over forty-five years 
ago from a slaveholder. He is also preaching the gospel. 

The son, Hezekiah, has had good opportunities for an edu- 
cation. He attended public schools for ten years and finished 
his education at Morgan College, Baltimore, Md. 

He has been school principal for twenty-five years, a black- 
smith for four years, an agent for the John C. Winston & Co. 
book store for three years, and a local preacher for eighteen 

He was made Messenger of John Wesley Fountain, No. 
1278, Ellieott City. Md., eleven years ago. He was Special 
Deputy for three years. 

In 1905 he worked up eight Fountains and Rosebuds; in 
1906 ten Fountains and Rosebuds; in 1907 twelve Fountains 
and Rosebuds. In 1908 he was appointed by the Grand 
Worthy Master to take charge of the Annapolis Division, and 
he has worked up since that time twelve Fountains and Rose- 


Chief and State Dejmty, Providence, R. I. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Richmond, Va., Octo- 
ber 10, 1866, her parents being Lewis and Sarah A. Brown. 
They moved to Xyaek, X. Y., in 1872, and here she attended 

Grand fountain, it. 0. t. r. 447 

the public schools until June, 1879. She moved to New Yoik 
city and assisted her mother in the laundry business. She 
was married in 1893. 

She was a member of a benevolent society known as Love 
and Friendship. When the membership began falling off she 
was informed of this great Order, and the members at once 
agreed to turn the society over to a Fountain of the Grand 
Fountain, United Order of True Reformers; so, on June 5, 
1895, they were organized as Love and Friendship Fountain, 
No. 749, she being installed as Secretary, and afterwards was 
appointed Worthy Messenger. September, 1896, she was 
elected Secretary of the New York Division, which office she 
held for four years. 

In 1897 the juveniles attached to Love and Friendship So- 
ciety were organized into Rosebud No. 214, of which she was 
Junior Mother. Afterwards she was made Senior Mother. 

She resigned the office of Division Secretary in 1900 on ac- 
count of leaving town, but worked as Special Deputy. 

She finished working up and organized Lee Fountain, No. 
1106, Nyack, N. Y.; Rosebud No. 374, Nyack, N. Y.; Messiah 
Fountain, No. 1650, Newburg, N. Y. ; Rosebud No. 487, New- 
burg, N. Y. ; Priscilla Fountain, No. 2119, New York city; 
Hudson River Fountain, No. 2133, Highland Falls, N. Y. ; 
Myrtle Fountain, No. 2161, New York city; Rosebud No. 868, 
New York city; reinstated Live Oak Fountain, No. 628, Engle- 
wood, N. J. She was appointed State Deputy of Connecticut, 
and reinstated Elm City Fountain, No. 844. She was after- 
wards appointed Chief and State Deputy of Rhode Island, 
and worked up and organized Rhode Island Rosebud, No. 
1109; What Cheer, No. 1200; West Elmwood, No. 1210; Provi- 
dence, R. L, and Acquidneck Rosebud, No. 1231, Newport, R, I. 


ME. R. B. McRAEY, 

Ch/ef, Lexington, N. 0. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Lexington, N. C, 
November 21, 1860. At the age of seven he was left an or- 
phaned apprentice in the same home in which his mother had 
lived as a slave. It was due to the kind, Christian people in 
whose care he was placed that he received the moral training 
and discipline in habits of politeness and industry, which 
have borne appropriate fruit in after life. 

He was alternately required to work on the farm and al- 
lowed to attend the parochial schools, which were conducted 
under the auspices of the Northern Presbyterian and M. E. 
churches for the benefit of the freedmen. At the age of sixteen 
he went to Wilmington, X. C, to be office boy in the com- 
mission house of W. H. McEary & Co., and it was here that 
he acquired his first practical knowledge of business. In less 
than a year he was filling the position of shipping clerk and 
bill collector for the house. Notwithstanding his apprentice- 
ship was to last until he was twenty-one years of age, he was 
allowed, after further preparation, to teach in the public 
schools in his home county, and to use the proceeds of his work 
to assist him in the prosecution of his cherished purpose — to 
secure a liberal education. He entered the preparatory depart- 
ment of Lincoln University, Pa., in the fall of 1880, and 
matriculated in the college department the next year, from 
which he graduated with honor in the class of 1885. He sub- 
sequently spent one year in the theological department of the 
same institution. Returning home, he taught in the public 
schools for some time, and in 1890 he accepted a position as 
principal of the Reidsville, X. C, graded schools, which posi- 
tion he held for three years. He also held the position of 
principal of the normal department of Livingstone College, 
Salisbury, N. C. 

During all these years his friends at his old home had fol- 
lowed him with their interest, and a little later, when the head 


of the family, now aged and infirm, needed an assistant to 
help look after the large interests of the estate, the responsible 
position was tendered the subject of this sketch. So well were 
his employers satisfied with his work that, in 1895, he was 
given "registered power of attorney" for the estate, which he 
still holds. 

Mr. McRary was never very active in politics outside of his 
own county. Although a life-long Republican and a Justice 
of the Peace in Lexington for six years, he has always con- 
tended that the salvation of his people lay along moral, in- 
dustrial and business lines. Nevertheless, he is an advocate of 
liberal education and the right of suffrage as a means of pro- 
tection and stimulation to good citizenship. 

He has twice represented the North Carolina Conference of 
the M. E. Church as delegate to the General Conference, and 
while serving in this capacity at the General Conference held 
in the city of Los Angeles, Cal., his alma mater conferred upon 
him the degree of master of arts. 

In addition to his other work, Mr. McRary finds time to 
invest and trade in real estate on his own account, and is the 
owner of valuable real estate in Lexington. He is a stock- 
holder of the Nokomis Cotton Mill, the Oneida Chair Factory 
and the Bank of Lexington. He is a Mason, Pythian, Elk 
and True Reformer. He joined the last named in 1899, and 
has been instrumental in the organization of eight Subordinate 
Fountains and one Rosebud. 

W. D. LAWS, 

State Deputy, Avalon, Va> 

W. D. Laws, the subject of this sketch, Was born November 
23, 1856, in Baltimore, Md., where he lived for a short time, 
after which his parents moved 'to Burlington, N. J., where 
they spent ten years. 

He attended the public schools of Burlington for about 


seven years; then his parents moved back to Baltimore, and 
from there to Northumberland county, Va. 

Mr. Laws worked on the farm until he was nearly twenty- 
three years of age, when he began to teach a country school. 
After teaching two short terms, he decided to go to school 
and prepare himself better for the work. In the fall of 1880 
he entered the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, 
making the middle class. The next year, on account of the 
death of his mother — his father having died the year that he 
entered school — he remained out and re-entered in the fall of 
1882, and graduated in the spring of 1883. He taught school 
from that time until 1906, when he was appointed by Rev. Dr. 
W. L. Taylor, Grand Worthy Master, to take charge of the 
Urbanna Division of the Grand Fountain of the United Order 
of True Reformers. This Division, which comprises King 
George, Westmoreland. Northumberland, Lancaster, Rich- 
mond, Middlesex and Essex counties, Va., has grown and im- 
proved much in sending aid to the Old Folk's Homes, as well 
as contributing to other departments, under the leadership of 
Mr. Laws. Since his appointment lie has been able to report 
ten Fountains and Rosebuds organized. 

Mr. Laws feels that there is no grander Organization than 
the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers, 
and he hopes that it may continue to spread until every State 
in the Union will know of its worth. 


Chief, Alexandria, Va. 

Mr. Maurice Rouselle, the subject of this sketch, son of 
Maurice Rouselle, a Haytian diplomat, was born in New York 
city January 12, 1873. 

He attended the Thirteenth street school, near Sixth avenue, 
New York city. He has spent three years in Europe and Asia 
and seven vears in South America. 


He is identified with six different organizations, and is a 
great believer and lover of secret orders. He is an electrician 
by trade. 

He became identified with the Grand Fountain of the 
United Order of True Eeformers about twelve years ago, and 
has been working in and for the Order ever since he joined it. 
When appointed as Chief of the Alexandria, Va., Division, 
it was with regret that he was given up by the members of the 
New York Division. 

REV. T. D. LEE, 

Chief, Kansas City, Mo. 

Rev. T. D. Lee, the subject of this sketch, was born in 
Hampton, Va., about the 19th of September, 1865. After liv- 
ing there for three years, his parents moved to Barretts Neck, 
in Nansemond county, Va., where he spent a number of years 
on the farm. He attended the countjr school until he was 
qualified to enter a higher school. In September, 1885, he en- 
tered the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, and 
after spending four years in preparing for life's duties, he 
went North and took charge of a large hotel as head waiter, 
and later he went to Hot Springs, Ark., to fill a similar posi- 
tion. Feeling that the Lord had use for his services in a 
higher calling, he returned to Newport News, Va., where he 
began making preparations for his chosen profession. He 
secured a position as messenger in the First National Bank, 
and during leisure hours he studied under a private teacher 
for the ministry. In September, 1895, he was licensed by the 
First Baptist church of that place to preach. Soon thereafter 
he took charge of the Macedonia Baptist church, of Ivy ave- 
nue, where he served until the Tidewater Baptist Sunday- 
school Convention employed him as its missionary for their 
district, and since he was a property holder at Newport News, 
he was allowed to remain there as his headquarters. During the 


time that he was engaged as missionary he was ordained for 
further service. 

In 1897 he became identified with the Grand Fountain of 
the United Order of True Reformers, having become a mem- 
ber of Blooming Star Fountain. He served two terms as 
Worthy Master and also as Secretary, and was a delegate to 
the annual session once as its representative. He was made 
Messenger of Xew Jerusalem Fountain, No. 1332, which only 
had a membership of twelve, but in a short time it was one 
among the strongest Fountains in that Division. After the 
death of his wife, Mrs. Ella B. Lee, who was also a member 
of the Organization, the Grand Worthy Master, Rev. Dr. W. L. 
Taylor, feeling that Rev. Lee could be of much service to the 
Order, ordered him to headquarters, that he might receive 
special training preparatory to taking up the work on the 
field. His first appointment was at Drakes Branch, Va., 
where he organized two Rosebud Nurseries, composed of 
ninet} T -four children. He was next sent to Kansas City, Mo., 
as State Deputy of Missouri, and after a short while he was 
appointed as Chief of the Division. During the first year's 
work he added the State of Kansas, as well as many members, 
to the Brotherhood. His territory comprises Sedalia, War- 
rensburg, Pleasant Hill, Independence and St. Joseph, where 
he is meeting with much success in the work. Rev. Lee has 
been offered the pastorate of several churches, but has refused 
on account of the work of the Organization. Rev. Lee is num- 
bered among the loyal workers of the Order. 


Late Chief, Alexandria, Va. 

Anthony T. Holmes was born at Bowling Green, Caroline 
county, Va., on July 15, 1837, and died on September 5, 1904, 
after living a very eventful life. 

At an early age he moved to Louisa county, where he was 

GRAND FOUNTxVm. U. O. T. R. 453 

married to Martha C. Lewis, to which union there were born 
seven children. He was converted and baptized in the year 
1868, and for thirty-seven years had been a member of the 
Mt. Garland Baptist church of Louisa county. In 1868 his 
wife died, after which he moved to the city of Richmond, 
where he again married, his second wife being Mrs. Mildred 
A. Fox ? of that city. 

He resided in Richmond for a number of years, where he 
became connected with Lone Star Fountain of the Grand 
Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers in about 
1889. He was made Chief Deputy of the Fredericksburg Divi- 
sion in 1894, and was transferred to the Alexandria Division 
in 1900. Mr. Holmes was always a tireless and enthusiastic 
worker, and was stricken on the field of duty while on his 
way to organize a Fountain at Warsaw, in Richmond county, 

In 1902 Mr. Holmes was married a third time to Mrs. Louisa 
Lee, of Alexandria, Va., where he resided until his death. 

In later years, as an organizer, he became one of the best of 
the Brotherhood, having organized more Fountains than any 
other Deputy in the same length of time. He was trained in 
the Richmond Division for the field work by his son, A. W. 
Holmes, who was Chief of the Division at that time. 

As a Christian, he exerted his influence wherever he went. 
In his early Christian life he organized a number of Sunday- 
schools in Louisa county, where he resided, and was superin- 
tendent of one Sunday-school for a number of years. Mr. 
Holmes was always willing and anxious to assist the young 
people of his Race wherever he came in contact with them. 
In a very unassuming way and manner, he would inspire them 
with the highest principles, and has been the means of caus- 
ing many to better their condition in life. He conducted night 
schools throughout the county and taught old as well as young. 

The colored people of Louisa county are rated as paying 
more taxes than in any other county in the State of Virginia, 


and Mr. Holmes was one of the first to purchase property 

As an upright. Christian gentleman, he made a lasting im- 
pression throughout the field of his labors. 

Assistant Cashier^ Savings Bank^ G. /?., V . 0. T. R. 

Joseph M. Jackson, first assistant to the Cashier of the 
Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain of the United Order of 
True Reformers, was born and reared in Richmond, Va. His 
parents were Andrew and Louisa Jack-on. and he is the fifth 
child of a family of eight children. 

He attended the public schools of his home city, generally 
leading his classes, and received many rewards for scholar- 
ship. He is a graduate of the Richmond Normal School. 
After Leaving school he taught in King William county, Va. 

Mr. Jack-on is one of the charter members of Constantino 
Fountain, No. 160, which was organized in May. L892. In 1893, 
at the request of Rev. W. W. Browne, he made an extensive 
canvass of Richmond in the interest of the Organization, being 
one of the first five special canvassers appointed to work in 
Richmond. So well satisfied was Rev. Browne with the work 
done by him, that in March. 1894, he called him into the Bank 
as bookkeeper. He moved up rapidly, and since L896 lie has 
been first assistant to the Cashier, having worked faithfully 
as receiving teller, note teller and paying teller, and at times, 
during the absence of the Cashier, has had general charge of 

Mr. Jackson is faithful, honest and accurate with the Bank 
and the public, and has always had the best interest of the 
institution at heart. 

He is a member of the Third Street A. M. E. church. He is 
married and has three children. His general deportment has 
always been such as to inspire confidence in the Bank. 



Director, Memphis, Tenn. 

The subject of this sketch was born at Burkesville, Fred- 
erick county, Md., October 15, 1843. His parents had eleven 
children, and he was the seventh of this number. He was 
reared under a Christian influence, and professed a hope in 
Christ when seventeen years of age, and joined the Methodist 
church. After filling every office in the local church, he was 
licensed to preach in October, 1879, and on March 11, 1880, 
was ordained a deacon at Petersburg, Va. At the Annual Con- 
ference at Halifax Courthouse, Va., he was ordained an elder 
by Bishop L. H. Holsey, of Georgia. In 1883 he was sta- 
tioned at the Leigh Street M. E. church, Richmond, Va. Since 
that time he has filled some of the most popular churches in 
the gift of his Conference. For twelve years he was elected 
to the Genera] Conference of the church, and for sixteen years 
has been a member of the general mission and educational 
board of the church. 

In 1895 he was elected a member of the Board of Education 
of Lane College. Jackson, Tenn., which position he still holds. 
He was appointed delegate-at-large from his church to the 
great Epworth League Convention held at Denver, Col., in 
1905, and was the only general delegate present from his 

He has served on the criminal court jury three full terms 
and on the circuit jury three terms. 

He attended the county school at his home, which was only 
open three months in the year. He also attended a branch of 
Howard L^niversity for three sessions, which prepared him 
for an after life of usefulness to his Race. 

In 1883 and 1884 he was associated with Rev. W. W. 
Browne, both of whom belonged to the Virginia Conference. 
They at once became great friends. Mr. Browne related to 
him his plans of operation in his new society, whereupon he 
commended it and promised it his aid and influence. 


From 1884 to 1888 Eev. Smothers pastored in Halifax 
county, during which time Mr. Browne gave him permission 
to get up a Fountain. The result was the organization of two 
Fountains. At once he was appointed Special Deputy. Later 
he was given permission to work in the interest of the Organi- 
zation in the District of Columbia, from which point, in 1894, 
he was transferred to Tennessee. His heart and mind are in 
the work of the True Reformers, believing that no other or- 
ganization has done more for the Race morally, religiously 
or financially than the Grand Fountain of the United Order 
of True Reformers. 

Rev. Smothers was elected a member of the Board of Direc- 
tors of the Organization, which position he has held for a 
number of years. 

Chief, Ordinary , Va. 

Rev. Z. Taylor Whiting was born a slave of R. B. Lawson, 
of Gloucester county, Va., fifty years ago. His parents were 
Daniel and Hannah Whiting. 

He professed religion in 1865, and was baptized by Rev. S. 
Harkins (white). Having a knowledge of his call to preach 
the gospel, he first bought a Bible, but soon found out that 
he could not read it without an education; so he bought him a 
spelling-book, and did the best he could at taking lessons from 
the Lawson children, until a free school teacher opened a night 
school near his home. He attended there two terms, after 
which time he got permission from the board to attend the 
day school, which he attended two terms ; after which he went 
before the school board and was examined, and received a 
certificate to teach public school. He taught for fifteen years, 
and then resigned, to the regret of the patrons and the board. 

He was called to the Shiloh Baptist church, James City 
county, Va., in 1877, and was ordained, after passing a very 


rigid examination, in March, 1878, which church he has held 
ever since. He was called to the New Zion Baptist church, 
James City, and after preaching for them for some time he 
resigned. He received a call from the St. John Baptist church, 
and preached for them for some time with general satisfaction. 
He resigned this charge to enter the Theological Seminary in 
1889, which school he attended two terms. He received calls 
from the Smithfield, Gloucester and Ware Neck Baptist 
churches, as well as other churches, and resigned from all of 
them, having given satisfaction. In 1890 he was called to the 
Bere Baptist church, Gloucester county, Va., and while there he 
built one of the finest churches in Tidewater, at a cost of four 
thousand dollars. He was called to the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist 
church, in York county, Va., and there built a fine church, at a 
cost of one thousand five hundred dollars. He is now pastor 
of these two churches, as well as Shiloh Baptist church. 

In 1898 he joined the Grand Fountain of the United Order 
of True Reformers, and was made Messenger of his Fountain. 
Since that time he has been an active worker in the Organi- 
zation. In 1901 he was appointed Chief of the Gloucester 
Division, which field was very much scattered at that time. 
He had no easy time in getting it in working condition, but 
now it is in a very prosperous condition, having organized 
three new Fountains since January. 

Rev. Whiting is a staunch supporter of the principles of 
True Reformerism, and is often heard to say : "If all the socie- 
ties in existence among the Race were doing the work the True- 
Reformers are, the 'race problem' would soon be solved, for all 
that is said about us and done to us, as a Race, is not on ac- 
count of our color, but our condition. The True Reformers are 
not only doing a good work in relieving the distressed, lifting 
mortgages and securing homes, but giving our people a scien- 
tific education and wealth. These two things, with true reli- 
gion, will solve any race problem. Its influence is felt 
throughout the width and breadth of the land." Rev. Whit- 
ing is a power for good in his community. 


Chief, Finance Department, G. F., U. 0. T. R. 

Mrs. Virginia West Giles was born in Manchester, Va., Oc- 
tober 13, 1864. Her father, George Howlett, was set free by 
his father, Thomas Howlett, who, at his death, set his ten 
children and their mother free, leaving them an estate worth 
one hundred thousand dollars ; but not being able to read, they 
were cheated out of it b}^ their white relation. After George 
was set free, he bought his wife, Caroline; thus Virginia was 
born free. Her father died when she was eight years old, and 
her mother moved to Richmond, Va., where she struggled 
to educate her tAvo daughters, Elizabeth and Virginia. 

At the age of thirteen Virginia professed Christ and joined 
the First Baptist church of Manchester. She attended the 
district and the colored high school of Richmond, Va. 

When she was twenty years of age she was married to Win- 
ston A. West, of Springfield. Mass., and went to that city to 
live. In order to be of material assistance to her husband, 
she attended Childs 5 Business College of that city, and re- 
ceived a diploma in bookkeeping and penmanship. 

After only four years of married life, she was left a widow 
with two children, Walter, three years, and Christine E., eigh- 
teen months. She carried on her husband's business for two 
years, but on account of failing health sold out. 

In 1894 she joined the Grand Fountain, United Order of 
True Reformers, and was appointed Rosebud Lecturer over 
all of the Divisions by Rev. W. W. Browne, which office she 
filled for nearly four years. In 1897 she was appointed Chief 
of Finance department, which position she still holds. 

In 1902 she was married to Mr. E. R. Giles, a prosperous ice 
merchant of Richmond, Va. 


State Deputy^ Northern Nevj Jersey. 

The subject of this sketch was born at Elmington, Nelson 
county, Va., October 23, 1862. He began his education in the 
common schools, and in the year 1876 he went to Lynchburg, 
Va., and took a course of three months in the city school. In 
January, 1895, he went to Washington, D. C, and was ini- 
tiated in Levy Fountain, No. 65. In June, 1895, Mr. Banks 
was appointed special canvasser, and he organized Mount 
Pelier Fountain. He succeeded in organizing a club in Elli- 
cott City, Md., and Asbury Fountain, No. 1692. 

He then returned to Washington with the determination to 
make Mount Pelier the largest Fountain in the District of 
Columbia. In September, 1900, Mount Pelier had one hun- 
dred and sixty-seven benefited members. In May, 1901, Mr. 
Banks was appointed Chief and State Deputy for New Jersey, 
with headquarters at Newark. In October, 1903, he was ap- 
pointed Chief at Providence, E. I., and added to this Divi- 
sion four new Fountains, rebuilt two old ones, reorganized 
one old Rosebud, and built two new ones. There were ninety- 
one members initiated in the Division from October 5, 1903, 
to April 10, 1906. 


Chief, Homestead, Pa. 

The subject of this sketch was born of slave parents in Mt. 
Sidney, Augusta county, Va., July 12, 1856. His early life was 
one of hardship. He is a self-made man, having had but a 
very little advantage of schooling. He followed during his 
early life railroading, coal-digging, brick yard work, and 
teamster. At present he holds the position as head janitor at 
the Carnegie Company's office at Homestead, Pa., which posi- 
tion he has filled with honor and credit about eighteen years. 


He has been a resident of Homestead for about twenty-five 
years. He became a charter member of Homestead Fountain, 
No. 428, in 1891, and was a very active member, and soon be- 
came the leading light in his Fountain. He was known as 
the hustling "Clarke" among the True Reformers. 

In 1898 lie was elected delegate to the Grand Session held 
in Richmond, Ya. The same year he received appointment as 
Chief of Homestead and Braddock Divisions. Chief Clarke 
has increased the membership from seventy-five to over four 
hundred members, built five Fountains and two Rosebuds. In 
his Division at present there are fifteen Fountains and four 


Chief, Warrenton, Va. 

The subject of this sketch was born near Suffolk, Ya., in 
1857. His parents were Parker and Kitty Jones. He attended 
the public school, Hampton Institute and Wayland Seminary, 
Washington, D. C., where he graduated from two departments 
of that school in 1887, and was ordained the same year at the 
Grove Baptist church, Churchland, Ya. 

Rev. D. W. Jones married Miss Maggie J. Wilson, the 
daughter of John M. Wilson, in 1888. He served as mission- 
ary in the southern part of Virginia, and organized the Berean 
Baptist church, Lunenburg county, and reorganized Mt. Olive 
church, Clarksville, Ya. He then accepted calls to the pastor- 
ate of the Mt. Ararat church, Clarksville, and Mt. Mitchell 
church, Fort Mitchell. Ya. He taught public school nearly 
five years. 

He then accepted a call to the First Baptist church, Middle- 
sex county, and there pastored and taught acceptably for 
about five years. He accepted a call to the pastorate of the 
First church, Warrenton, Ya., where he is now living, and 
which point he is pastoring, teaching and doing Deputy work 


for the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Eeformers. 
He joined the Old Dominion Fountain, No. 320, in 1898. He 
was appointed Chief, with headquarters at Warrenton, No- 
vember, 1901. Since then he has worked up and organized 
seven Fountains in this section. 


State Deputy, Montgomery, W. Va. 

Mrs. L. D. Hodge, the subject of this sketch, was born in 
Christiansburg, Montgomery county, Va., July 9, 1863, her 
parents being Ruth and Jack Henderson. She was schooled 
there under the leadership of Captain C. S. Schoffer. After 
finishing the normal school she became a teacher in Mont- 
gomery county in 1879 ; she also taught school in Roanoke, 
Va., in 1880, and in Giles county the same year. 

In 1881 she went to Montgomery, W. Va., and from there 
she went to Richmond, Va., and attended the Theological 
Seminary. Leaving that school in 1883, she returned to Mont- 
gomery, W. Va., where she was married to Mr. Thomas G. 
Hodge, of Danville, Va. Since that time she has followed 
the vocation of dressmaking and millinery at Montgomery. 

She became identified with the Grand Fountain of the 
United Order of True Reformers in 1889, and has been a 
faithful and energetic worker. Under the leadership of Mr. 
Floyd Ross, State Deputy of West Virginia, she was ap- 
pointed Special Deputy, and in the meantime she worked up 
six Fountains and two Rosebuds. 

In 1904 she Avas appointed State Deputy of West Virginia, 
and has since been one of the most energetic workers for the 



Chief, Clarksville, Va. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Clarksville, Meck- 
lenburg county, Va., where- she attended the public schools 
until the age of sixteen, when she entered the Hampton Nor- 
mal School. Since graduating she has taught in the public 
schools and also private schools. On September 22, 1899, she 
married Mr. J. B. Sommerville. 

She joined the United Order of True Reformers seventeen 
years ago by joining the Golden Band Fountain, No. 72, and 
Class B. She has served as Worthy Mistress and Guide, and 
is now Messenger and Secretary of the Fountain and Rosebud, 
and has been for ten years. In 1900 she was appointed Secre- 
tary and Chief of Clarksville Division, which position she 
still holds. She has been a representative to the Grand Foun- 
tain for six years, and was a delegate to the first Union Rose- 
bud Convention of the Southern Grand Division, where she 
had the honor of being elected Third Vice-President of the 
Union Rosebud Convention. 


Chief, Pittsburg, Pa. 

The subject of this sketch, Mr. J. W. Hunter, was born in 
King and Queen county, Va., September 20, 1874. 

He attended the public schools for a. short while, but not 
feeling satisfied with his education, he entered Temple College. 
After being in school a short while he joined the True Re- 
formers, and was elected Worthy Master of his Fountain. He 
was appointed Secretary of Philadelphia Division, and 
worked up one Fountain and one Rosebud. In 1902 he was 
transferred to Pittsburg Division, as Division Secretary, and 
in 1903 he was transferred to Harrisburg, Pa., as Deputy. 
In 1905 he was transferred to Pittsburg Division as Chief, 


which position he still holds. Six months after taking charge 
of the work of the Organization in Pittsburg, he succeeded in 
organizing three Fountains and one Rosebud in Uniontown, 
Pa., and also organized fifteen conventions for new Fountains, 
and is still moving on to success. 

P. A. CHAPPELLE, Attorney, 

Chief, Atlanta, Ga. 

The subject of this sketch, P. A. Chappelle, was born near 
Berlin, Southampton county, Va., on the 17th of June, 1877. 
He attended the county school in winter, and at the age of 
nineteen he entered the Hampton Normal and Agricultural 
Institute, graduating from the academic department in June, 
1900. He matriculated in the law department of Howard 
University, Washington, D. C, from which he graduated with 
the degree of LL. B. in the spring of 1903. 

He became interested in the True Reformers, and joined 
Vicksville Fountain, Xo. 2029, in his native county, in Novem- 
ber, 1903. He went to the headquarters in February, 1901, 
and was assigned to the storeroom to receive special training 
for the field. Later he was transferred to the Record depart- 
ment, and remained there until he was appointed as Chief of 
Atlanta, Ga., Division, October 1, 1904. Since going there he 
has increased the membership to more than fifteen hundred. 
He has also established work in Buford, Ga. 


Chief, Emporia, Va. 

The subject of this sketch, J. H. Hunnicutt, was born at 
Mason, Sussex county, Va., April 24, 1861. His mother was 
a slave and his father was a free man. He attended school 


about five months. In 1892 lie went to Newbern, N. C. After 
his return home he bought a small tract of land, containing 
forty-six acres, in Sussex. 

In 1897 Mr. Hunnicutt joined the Grand Fountain of the 
United Order of True Reformers. The inspiration he received 
from this Order was so great that in 1900 he purchased three 
hundred acres of land near Grizzard Station, which his wife's 
master used to own, making a total of three hundred and 
forty-six acres, on which he has erected a dwelling costing 
one thousand five hundred dollars. 

February 12, 1899, he organized a club known as the Golden 
Slipper Fountain, No. 911. He was made Messenger of the 
said Fountain, and Assistant Chief of the Division. He was 
appointed Chief of Emporia Division, which position he now 


State Deputy, Kansas City, Mo. 

The subject of this sketch, Mrs. Nannie B. Oxley, was born 
in the State of Louisiana, June 28, 1867. Her parents were 
Rev. Albert and Mrs. Elsie Martin. 

She was brought to Illinois when quite young. In 1882 she 
completed the grammar school course. She took special 
studies at the Howe Institute, and in 1890 and 1892 she took 
special instructions at the Dumas Night School. On January 
20, 1900. she completed the course of trained nursing in the 
Auxiliary Hospital, which profession she followed until her 
connection with the Grand Fountain of the United Order of 
True Reformers. She joined the institution April, 1900, and 
was appointed Special Deputy. On October 12, 1902, she was 
appointed State Deputy of Missouri, with headquarters at 
Kansas City. She worked up a total of eighteen Senior Foun- 
tains, seven Rosebuds and twenty-one Class members, having 
added to the Organization during the six years, in all depart- 
ments, six hundred an forty-one members. 



Chiefs Courtland, Va. 

The subject of this sketch, Rev. Philip W. Diggs, was born 
in 1848, in Mathews county, Va. He is the son of Edward 
and Rose Ann Diggs. 

His early days were spent on a farm. In 1869 he matricu- 
lated at Hampton School, but as there was no ministerial de- 
partment in this school, he went to Richmond Theological 
School in 1870. He taught in the public schools of Virginia 
twenty-six years, and pastored several churches. 

He joined the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True 
Reformers in 1898; he also joined E and B Classes. He was 
appointed Special Deputy, and worked in five different coun- 
ties, namely, Southampton, Greenville, Northampton, Hert- 
ford and Bertie. Mr. Diggs is now Chief of Courtland Divi- 
sion, and is doing a good work for the Order. 


Chief, Philadelphia, Pa. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Bedford county, Va., 
December 24, 1850, of slave parents, Jacob and Jane Thomp- 

In 1863 he was forced into the Confederate Army by his 
master, where he drove a provision wagon for two years. 
After the close of the war he secured a position as a porter 
on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, which is now the 
Norfolk and Western, which position he filled for five years. 
He resigned to accept a position in a factory in Petersburg, 
Va., holding same for seven years. He went to work again 
as a porter on the Richmond and Danville Railroad, now the 
Southern, where he served for thirteen years, and later he 
worked on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad as a porter for 
seven years. 


In- 1867 he was converted and joined the Jackson Street M. 
E. church, Lynchburg, Va. He was not blessed with any edu- 
cational advantages, but by hard struggling he was enabled 
to attend night school in Lynchburg, Va., in 1872. 

In 1882 he joined the Silver Stream Fountain, No. 2, Grand 
Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, in Richmond, Ya. 
In 1891 he assisted in working up Rose Fountain, No. 382, 
Richmond, Ya., and served as Secretary for five years. In 
1896 he was appointed Chief of Norfolk, Ya., Division, where 
he served for four years. Later he was appointed to take 
charge of the work in Philadelphia, Pa., where he has met 
with phenomenal success. 

As a True Reformer, Mr. Thompson is loyal, capable and 
trustworthy. He has organized seventy-five Fountains --and 
raised, since 1894, ten thousand two hundred and eighty-two 
dollars for the Old Folk's Homes department. At the four- 
teenth annual session, held at Lynchburg, Ya., he was ap- 
pointed chairman of the first committee on the Old Folk's 
Homes, and enjoyed the distinction of being the first and only 
Chief to raise one thousand dollars at one collection for this 
department. He has handled one hundred and five thousand 
nine hundred and forty-five dollars and four cents of the peo- 
ple's money without the loss of one cent. 


Chief, Clifton Forcje, Va. 

The subject of this sketch was born March 1, 1855, in Louisa 
county. Va. His parents were Frank and Nancy Nicholas. 

At an early age his parents moved to Gordonsville, at which 
place he begun to attend public school. 

In 1886, at Clifton Forge, he gained his first knowledge of 
the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers. For 
meritorious work in helping to work up a Fountain, he was 
made its first Worthy Master, and later on was made Messen- 


ger of the Fountain. He was appointed Chief of Clifton 
Forge Division, and has been successful in working up and 
organizing six new Senior Fountains and one Rosebud Foun- 
tain, a total of thirteen Senior Fountains and three Rosebuds. 
Mr. Nicholas has proved himself painstaking and energetic in 
whatever work has been assigned him to do. 


Greensboro, N. 0. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Guilford county, 
near the city of Greensboro, N. C. His parents were David 
Caldwell and Mary Brown Caldwell. 

In 1895 he became interested in the Grand Fountain, United 
Order of True Reformers, and became a member in March, 
1896, being made Worthy Master of his Fountain, which 
Fountain has grown considerably. He has done considerable 
work in Greensboro, adding several Fountains and Rosebuds, 
as well as putting many persons into the Classes. 


Chief, Lynchburg, Va. 

The subject of this sketch, Mr. Captain Willis, was born 
December 25, 1873, near Barboursville, Orange county, Va. 
His parents were Toney and Vinia Willis. He attended the 
public schools near Barboursville, Va. 

In 1900 Mr. Willis became a member of the Grand Foun- 
tain of the United Order of True Reformers. In one week 
he sold thirty lots for the Old Folk's Home at Westham, Va. 
He worked up two Fountains and two Rosebuds in one month 
and twelve days, and added many members to all departments 
of the institution. In 1902 he was appointed District State 
Deputy for the Eastern Shore of Maryland. During the 


eleven months' service there he organized eleven FountainSo 
In September, 1903, -he was appointed Chief of Lynchburg 
Division, which place he now holds. He has organized thirty- 
five Fountains and Rosebuds in Lynchburg Division. 


Chief, Norfolk, Va. 

The subject of this sketch was born at Glendale. Henrico 
county, Va., October G, 1859. He is the youngest son of Lewis 
L. and Harriet Rooks, who were slaves of Mr. L. T. Gatewood. 
He was converted at fifteen, baptized and joined the Gravel 
Hill Baptist church. 

He joined the first club of True Reformers gotten up in the 
city of Portsmouth in July, 1889, now known as Rising Light 
Fountain, Xo. 250. He joined B Class in 1890, and was made 
Messenger of the Fountain. He was made Assistant Chief in 
1892, and about six years later was made Chief in charge of 
Portsmouth and counties around. 

In 1900 he was transferred to Newport News. He organized 
Fountains and Rosebuds in the following counties: Warwick, 
York, James City, Norfolk, Nansemond, Va., and Chowan, 
N. C. In the spring of 1903 Hampton Division was added to 
this Division. 

In September. 1903, Mr. Rooks was transferred to Danville 
Division, with the following counties: Pittsylvania, Heniy, 
Patrick, Franklin, Halifax, Va., and Caswell and Rocking- 
ham, N. C. He has added to Danville Division several Foun- 
tains and Rosebuds. He is now a member of B and E Classes. 


Deputy -General, Western Grand Division. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Clarksville, Va., Jan- 
uary 14 1865. The family moved to Richmond in 1872. 

o. t. r. 409 

He gained his first idea of books from his mother, and in the 
fall of 1876 he was sent to Navy Hill school. At Abbeyville 
he attended Mt. Level school. When the United Presbyterians 
built Bluestone mission school, he entered this school, graduat- 
ing with the class in 1887. His friends persuaded him to take 
up the work of the True Reformers. He was given a position 
as canvasser, and rose from a canvasser to Deputy-General 
of the Southern Grand Division, and was transferred to the 
Northern Grand Division. In the fall of 1904 he was trans- 
ferred to the Western Grand Division. 

Mr. Puryear is now president of the Meadville Commercial 
and Industrial Association; also president of the McKinley 
Normal and Industrial School, of Meadville, Va. 


Fredericksburg, Va. 

The subject of this sketch was born December 17, 1855, three 
miles from Spotsylvania Courthouse, Va., of slave parents. 

In 1870 he came to Fredericksburg and attended night school 
for a few months, which is the sum total of his educational 
advantages. With the first hundred dollars he ever earned 
he bought a small farm in Spotsylvania county. He married 
and bought the home which he now lives in, and two or three 
other houses. 

On May 1, 1884, he became one of the charter members of 
Tidewater Fountain, No. 20. He was elected its first Worthy 
Master, and has served them for more than fifteen years. He 
helped to put up four Fountains in Fredericksburg, and built 
up one, known as Future Fountain, No. 1624, and its Rosebud. 



Dejyuty, Florence, S. G. 

The subject of this sketch, the daughter of the late Harry 
and Mary Merrick, was born at Wilmington, New Hanover 
county, X. C, March 17, 1861. After attending private school 
and Blake's High School, she also received instruction at Bos- 
ton, Mass. 

Her first work for the Grand Fountain, United Order of 
True Reformers, was in the organization of Green Fountain 
Club. Since that time she has canvassed for the Order, and 
in February, 1902, was appointed Special Deputy at Florence, 
S. C. 

To give a faint idea of how the work has progressed during 
the past four years in Florence, S. C, under Mrs. Mclntire, 
there are seven Subordinate Fountains and five Rosebud Foun- 
tains; also one Subordinate Fountain at Darlington, S. C, 
and one at Claussen, McMillian Township. 


Past Grand Worthy Mistress, Washington, D. 0. 

The subject of this sketch was born October, 1846, in Staf- 
ford county, Va., of slave parents. 

With many disadvantages she learned how to read and 
write, after a long time devoted to hard study. She was mar- 
ried in 1870 to Mr. John H. James. She was cateress for the 
Government Printing Office for twenty-five years. 

In 1888 she became a member of the United Order of True 
Reformers. She has acted in every capacity, from Past Mis- 
tress of Jerusalem Fountain. Xo. 161 (eighteen years), to 
Worthy Mistress of the Passed Officers' Council and as Vice- 
Degree Mistress. She served as Grand Worthy Mistress of 
the Grand Fountain twelve years. She was Chief of Balti- 
more Division two years, and served as Chief of Leesburg 


Division. In 1907 Mrs. James was appointed manager of 

Hotel Reformer, Richmond, Va. 


Chief, Wilmington, Del, 

Mr. C. P. Griffin was born in Campbell county, Va., of 
slave parents, December 25, 1854. His father was Csesar 
Griffin, and his mother Pauline Griffin. He went to school 
in Lynchburg, Va. He taught school at Port Republic in 
1869, and then went in business for himself in New York 
city. He married Mrs. Smith Novel, the widow of Mr. 
Charles Novel, of Lynchburg. 

He was made Chief of the Wilmington Division of the 
Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers. He 
joined the Order in 1892, and organized Electo and Deme- 
trious Fountains, a Rosebud club of forty-eight members, and 
sold fifteen or twenty shares of Bank stock. He organized 
four Rosebud Fountains, three Subordinate Fountains, and 
has put fourteen members in the Classes. 


Chief, Newport News, Va, 

Mr. J. H. Ashby was born at Oak Tree, Va. (near Wil- 
liamsburg), June 10, 1875, and received his early education in 
the public schools of York county, where he lived with his 
parents until 1892, when they moved to Newport News. In 
the fall of 1896 he matriculated at Spiller Academy, but left 
before he had finished. 

He frequently delivered lectures in the interest of the Grand 
Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, throughout Tide- 
water Virginia, and in October, 1905, received an appoint- 
ment from President W. L. Taylor to report for duty as Chief 


of Savannah, Ga., and Deputy for the State, which position 
he accepted. 

In the fall of 1906 President W. L. Taylor transferred him 
from Georgia to Virginia, and gave him charge of the New- 
port News and Hampton Division. 


Late Director and Chief, Hampton, Va. 

The subject of this sketch was born a slave in Amelia 
county, Va., and came to Elizabeth City during the Civil 
War. He attended the schools then taught, and soon learned 
to read and write his name. He had no parents or friends to 
care for him, so he had to work to support himself. He was 
the prime mover in organizing a regular Sunday-school, and 
was its first superintendent. When he was old enough he 
entered into politics, and soon became a political speaker. 
He was elected to several offices, the last of which was justice 
of the peace. About this time he joined the True Reformers, 
and was soon made Chief of Hampton Division. He was 
also a member of the Board of Directors of the Grand Foun- 
tain, and was transferred to the Portsmouth Division, and 
then back to Hampton Division again. 

He professed religion and joined the Queen Street Baptist 
church. He applied to his church for license to preach, 
passed a creditable examination, and was licensed. 

When his health began to fail, the doctor advised him not 
to preach, as talking was surely against him. He was not 
easily discouraged. He had great confidence in himself. 

Having married a smart and intelligent woman, he accumu- 
lated property, both in town and country. 

Rev. Truehart was a model father and loved his children. 
His greatest desire was to have them educated. 

He was president of a Sunday-school Union. He was a 
large shareholder in the People's Building and Loan Associa- 

GRAND FOUNTAIN. U. 0. T. R. 473 

tion, of Hampton, and a member of its board of directors. 
He was one of the appraising committee of the town of Hamp- 
ton for several years. 
At the time of his death he was Chief of Hampton Division. 


Rosebud Lecturer, Western Grand Division, Chicago, III, 

The subject of this sketch was born in Metropolis, Massac 
county, 111., November 30, 1871. Her parents, Jerry and 
Sarah Jane Cunningham, were natives of the State of Ken- 
tucky. After successfully finishing the public schools at the 
age of fifteen, she spent three years in the summer high school 
at Cairo, 111., graduating with honors. She then attended the 
State Normal College at Carbondale, 111., for three years. 
She taught school in Illinois for two years and for two years 
in the State of Kentucky. 

November 15, 1898, she was united in marriage to Dr. A. H. 
Young, of Chicago, 111., where she has made her home ever 
since. Mrs. Young has always been active and prominent both 
in church and society work. She is a faithful member of 
Bethel A. M. E. church, has served successfully as Grand 
Queen Mother and Chief Grand Recorder of the Knights and 
Daughters of Tabor of the State of Illinois, and holds mem- 
bership in fourteen different organizations, holding some office 
in them all. In June, 1903, she became a charter member of 
Pride of Bethel Fountain, No. 2052, of Chicago. As a True 
Reformer she has been a faithful and energetic worker, hav- 
ing worked up several Subordinate Fountains and Rosebuds, 
and also served for some time as Messenger of Granada Foun- 
tain, No. 2341, and Zion Light Fountain, No. 2492 ; Secretary 
of Chicago Division and President of the Union Rosebud 
Board of Managers of Chicago Division; Senior Mother of 
Rosebud No. 846 ; Messenger of Pride of Bethel Fountain, No. 
2052, and Secretary of the Past Officers' Council of Chicago 


Division. In September, 1906, she was appointed to the posi- 
tion of Rosebud Lecturer of the Western Grand Division of 
the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, with 
headquarters at Chicago, 111. As Rosebud Lecturer during the 
past three years, she has been very faithful in the discharge 
of her duty, and has done much toward uniting the Western 
field for the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reform- 
ers. She has held three successful Rosebud Conventions, organ- 
ized scores of Rosebuds, and caused thousands of children to 
come into the Organization. Mrs. Young has jurisdiction over 
fourteen States, and has been successful in perfecting organi- 
zations in all of them. 


Deputy, Southern New Jersey. 

Charles Nathaniel Green Avas born in Madison county, Va., 
May 6, 1855. His parents were sold when he was about two 
years old; therefore he never knew anything about them. 
After the Avar he moved, with his grandmother and uncle, to 
Culpeper county, near Brandy Station, where he was hired 
out as a water-boy on a farm. There he attended a private 
school, taught by Mrs. Charlotte Weed, a Northern lady, 
where he learned to read and write. 

In 1871 he hired himself out to a man by the name of Cala- 
ham, for fifty-five dollars a year. In the winter of 1872 he 
again attended school, which was taught by Mr. John T. Wil- 
liams (now deceased). On the 2d day of April, 1872 he, with 
a gang of men and women, went to the western part of New 
York State to work on a farm. They were taken there by a 
man by the name of B. A. Cox, who succeeded in getting 
homes for all. He remained there until December of the same 
vear, when he returned to his old home in Virginia. 

In 1876 he married Miss Ellen Finks. They remained on 
the farm for awhile; then he went into the shoemaking busi- 

GRAND FOUNTAIN, U. 0. T. R. 475 

ness. He confessed Christ and was baptized by Eev. G. W. 
Blair on the third Sunday in June, 1881. On the 22d of July, 
1887, his wife died, leaving him with four little children, 
which the Lord blessed him to rear. 

In June, 1888, he went to Washington, and then to Balti- 
more, in search of work; from there he went to Sparrows 
Point, Md., where he was employed until the following spring, 
when he went to Washington with the city government. In 
February, 1890, he was married to Miss Georgia Williams. 
He bought him a small farm, where they lived for two years, 
after which he sold out and bought him a larger farm, which 
he soon sold, and bought in Pittsburg, Pa. 

In- February, 1891, he met Eev. W. L. Taylor in Washing- 
ton. Mr. Green was enquiring for some one that could tell 
him something* about the True Reformers, as he wanted to 
join them, and also knew of quite a few people who he could 
get to join. It seems that no one would ask him to join, so 
when he had met Rev. Taylor and he had explained the 
Order to him, he was ready to join, and sent in his application 
to Levi Fountain, No. 65; he was initiated into the Fountain, 
and the next day, in company with Rev. Taylor, they met a 
company of forty people, about four miles from Brandy Sta- 
tion. They captured the meeting, and the whole number 
joined the Order. This meeting was held on Friday night, 
February 13th — unlucky number and unlucky day — but that 
was a lucky day for him. 

Mr. Green has been in the Order ever since, and has always 
been proud of it, and always ready to go whenever called 
upon. In 1897, when the founder of the Organization died, 
and they called him to go to Richmond, Va., he went. In 
1898, when Rev. W. L. Taylor called him to go on the field as 
a Deputy, he laid aside everything and went, although he 
felt that he was not competent. Since taking up the field 
work, sometimes it has been very hard for him, but he has 
never once thought of "turning back," but he is here, and here 
to remain. Mr. Green has organized about forty-three Senior 


Fountains and some twelve Rosebuds, but this does not in- 
clude all of the work that he has done for the Organization. 
His first headquarters was at Warrenton, Va., and then Alex- 
andria. Va.. Pittsburg, Pa., Jersey City, N. J., and Trenton, 
X. J. He is now located in Camden. X. J. 

Chu f, Lexington, Va, 

The subject of this sketch, Mr. J. A. Pettigrew, was born 
in North Buffalo, Rockbridge county. Va., June 14, 1805. II is 
parents were Alfred and Frances Pettigrew, who were both 
slaves and deprived of education. There were born to them 
eight sons, all of whom scattered in different parts of the 
world except John-ton. who. with his parent-, moved to Lex- 
ington. Va. There he received a public school training. 

In January. l vs 7. he married Miss Virginia Franklin. Since 
that time they have accumulated much valuable property. 
They own stock in Beveral loan and trust companies; also in 
the People'- National Bank, of Lexington, and the Reformers' 
Savings Bank. 

On the 25th of February, 1> S '.>. he was initiated into Lex- 
ington Fountain, and the same night of initiation he was made 
Worthy Master. From that time the Fountain began to 
grow, until it reached nearly one hundred members. lie also 
succeeded in organizing several other Fountains. 

When Lexington Division was organized Mr. Pettigrew was 
appointed Chief. 

MR. W. s. HENRY, 
Chief, Indianapolis, //"/. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Halifax county, Va., 
February 1. 1873. His parents were Virginia and Reuben 
Henry. At an early age his mother and father moved to Pitt- 


sylvania county, where he spent his boyhood days. He was 
taught his first lessons in an old primer, when very young, by 
his mother. At the age of seven he entered the public schools 
at Ringgold, Va. On September 15, 1895, he matriculated in 
the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute, Petersburg, Va., 
graduating May, 1899. 

He became identified with the Grand Fountain of the 
United Order of True Reformers, and later accepted a posi- 
tion as clerk in the Home Office. After Hvq months' training 
he was appointed Chief and Deputy of the Lynchburg, Va., 
Division. In October, 1903, he was transferred to Indian- 
apolis, Ind. 

He succeeded in putting in all departments one thousand 
members. From five Senior Fountains and two Rosebuds, the 
work has grown to twenty-five Senior Fountains and eight 

The Eureka Supply Company, of Indiana, was founded by 
Mr. Henry, and is chartered under the laws of that State, 
with a capital stock of twenty-five thousand dollars. Boys 
and girls have been taken from the streets through this me- 
dium and given employment by this company. 


State Deputy, Arkansas. 

Mrs. Martha Janette Gibson, the subject of this sketch, was 
born March 15, 1870, at Jacksonville, Floyd county, Va. She 
was the seventh child of a family of fourteen children. Her 
parents were Robert and Sophia Motley. Her mother died 
when she was eight years of age, and though a child of tender 
years, she went to live with the family of Dr. G. W. Canada. 
Here she remained for seven years, working for her board, 
clothing and schooling. In the early part of 1885 she left this 
family and went to Roanoke, Va., where she secured work 
with the family of S. K. Dewerson. . 


At the age of sixteen years she was married to Mr. Milton 
Gibson, at the High Street Baptist church, of Roanoke, Ya. 
Two years later she joined the High Street Baptist church, 
and at once became active in the church work, and remained 
so until she moved to Pittsburg, Pa. Here she became iden- 
tified with the Shiloh Baptist church, and was soon a member 
of the choir. As in Roanoke, she was soon found in the front 
rank of Christian work at all times. 

While in Roanoke she began her work for the Grand Foun- 
tain of the United Order of True Reformers, under Mrs. 
Martha J. Williams, Chief of the Division. She worked up 
Traveling Star Fountain, No. 362 ? and was its Messenger, and 
under her guidance this Fountain numbered one hundred and 
fifty members. 

She worked as Special Deputy at Oil City, Pa., and suc- 
ceeded in organizing Fountains at Oil City, Pa., and New 
Castle, Franklin and Youngstown, O. She was next ap- 
pointed as State Deputy of Arkansas, with headquarters at 
Little Rock. Wherever she has gone she has worked for the 
success of the Organization, and in every place she has made 
staunch friends, both for the Organization and for herself. 

Mrs. Gibson possesses push, pluck and vim, which always 
bring success. She believes in fair play and justice to all. She 
considers the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True 
Reformers as the best fraternal Order owned and controlled 
b} 7 Negroes, and that it serves as an inspiration and beacon 
light to all Negro enterprise. 

MR. J. H. NUTT, 

Chief, Baltimore, Md. 

The subject of this sketch was born near Reedsville, Fair- 
field Township, Ya., February 8, 1875. His parents are noted 
for their thrift and fortitude, having, despite poverty and ad- 
versities, reared thirteen children. The subject of our sketch is 


the oldest of this number. He early evinced a burning desire 
for an education. His early days were spent on the farm, 
utilizing the scant advantages that were offered him by public 
schools of his town. At the age of nineteen he entered the 
Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute, where he studied 
for seven years, graduating in 1902, taking the degree of A. B. 
It was during his career at this school that he was initiated a 
True Reformer, and became identified with the Organization. 
On October 8, 1902, he was appointed by President Taylor 
to take charge of the work in the State of Maryland. He or- 
ganized seventy-eight Fountains and Rosebuds; formed many 
new Circles, aggregating a total membership of two thousand 
and seven hundred added to the Organization. 


Chief, Chicago, III. 

M. T. Bailey was born at Harmony, Halifax county, Va., 
May 15, 1875. Milton and Mary Bailey were his parents. 

His advantages for an education were very limited. In 
early boyhood days the best part of his time was spent on 
the farm, assisting his parents in supporting the family. 
When he reached the age of eighteen he attended the Har- 
mony public school, fourteen months altogether, but by hard 
study, coupled with a great desire for learning, he surpassed 
many pupils who had gone to school there for many years ; so 
much so that Superintendent Barksdale advised and also 
recommended that he leave for the Virginia Normal and Col- 
legiate Institute, at Petersburg, Va., as a State student. On 
September 14, 1893, he left for this school, where he spent 
seven years. He was assigned to the normal preparatory class 
for the first year; thence through the junior and into the 
college preparatory, and from there into the college depart- 
ment, where he spent four years, graduating in 1900, with the 
degree of A. B., and with the highest honors in his class. 


From the time he entered the college until his departure, he 
led every class he entered, except the normal preparatory. 
The faculty said during his seven years' stay in school he never 
entered his class room without having prepared his lessons; 
never violated a rule of the institution, nor disobeyed an order 
given by the head officials. During the last year in college he 
was selected by the board and members of the faculty as one 
of the student-teachers, which duties he performed with satis- 
faction to all parties concerned, and on graduating day he 
spoke for the college department, receiving great applause. 
In his early clays at school he served successfully as waiter, 
watchman, and, later, was promoted to take charge of the 
boys and do all of the grading and planting of trees, which 
have since become so beautiful. In the school of cadets, he 
worked himself from a private to major-general. Leaving 
the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute May 16, 1900, 
he entered upon the duties of clerk in the General Office of 
the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, at 
Richmond, Va., May 18, 1900. Here he spent ten months, 
giving perfect satisfaction in every department in which he 
worked. At the same time he took training under Mr. A. W. 
Holmes, now Deputy-General of the Southern Grand Division. 
When he had finished. Mr. Holmes said, "I am now willing 
to trust him to go on the field ; he will make one of the bright- 
est Deputies that we have on the field." In March, 1901, when 
the work in St. Louis, Mo., needed a good man to manage 
affairs, and Avhen President Taylor called for some one to go 
to the far AVest, this }^oung man said, "Here am I; send me, 
send me." He remained in St. Louis, Mo., for two years and 
six months, and during that time he added two thousand two 
hundred and six new members to the Order, put on the walls 
forty-one Fountain and Rosebud charters, did fifty-seven thou- 
sand four hundred and one dollars' worth of business, made 
the True Reformers, known throughout the city, State and 
other States. It was at this time that the Organization reached 

GRAND FOUNTAIN, U. 0. T. R. 481 

the climax in St. Louis, a twenty-five thousand dollar building 
having been purchased and fitted up for use. 

In 1903 Mr. Bailey was transferred to Chicago, Hi., Divi- 
sion, where he has also made a great record in adding thirty- 
seven new Fountains and Rosebuds and one thousand, three 
hundred and twenty-four members, doing twelve thousand 
five hundred dollars' worth of business. Thus, his work for 
the six years has resulted in the organization of seventy-eight 
Fountains and Rosebuds, three thousand five hundred and 
thirty new members in all departments, and a total amount 
of business transacted of seventy thousand dollars. 

Mr. Bailey's work has not only made himself known 
throughout the Western Grand Division, but from Maine to 
California he is styled as the "Hero of the Great West." 
Since leaving school, he has never lost interest in his books, 
but continues to search for knowledge during his spare mo- 
ments. As a demonstration of the same, he has spent some 
time with the Chicago Correspondence School of Law ? where 
he made a great record. Since then he has spent many hours 
in hard study with the Illinois College of Law, from which he 
graduated in 1907, with the degree of LL. B. 

Mr. Bailey is an active member of Quinn chapel, A. M. E. 
church; a member and officer of Bethel A. M. E. Sunday- 
school, Chicago, 111. ; President of the Alumni Association of 
the Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute, Petersburg, 
Va. ; Grand Worthy Picket Guard of the Grand Fountain of 
the United Order of True Reformers ; Chief of Chicago, 111. ; 
Division and State Deputy of Illinois ; Associate Board of Di- 
rector of the Eureka Supply Company, of Indianapolis, Ind., 
and holds many minor offices. He is a member of the 
Subordinate Fountain, Classes B and M of the Grand Foun- 
tain, United Order of True Reformers, Master Mason, 0. E. 
S., H. of J., A. F. and A. M. 



Chiefs Prospect, Va. 

The subject of this sketch, William H. Anderson, was born 
in Amelia county, Va., in 1855. While he was very young his 
parents moved to Hampdey, Va. 

In those early days educational advantages for colored 
youths were very meager, so young Anderson had very little 
advantages of schooling. He attended a county school for five 
sessions and obtained what learning he could in the short 
terms. He then, being of little size, was kept home to serve 
his father until he was old enough to be a miller. Young An- 
derson commanded a salary, and began saving his earnings. 
In a short time he was able to purchase a farm of one hun- 
dred and tweny-five acres, on which he now has a very nice 
house, two horses and a carriage, and everything that is needed 
for comfort and beauty. He has been a very successful farm- 
er, and while he still farms, he also has a store and is doing an 
excellent business. 

Mr. Anderson is a stirring man, and although with but little 
education, he is prominent in church and society work, and 
has gained the confidence of both white and colored. 

He connected himself with the True Reformers in 1890. He 
first assisted in working up a club at his home, which was 
organized into a Fountain of fifteen members. He was ap- 
pointed Messenger of this Fountain, Silver Light, and within 
a year he had increased the membership to fifty-four. In 
1901 he organized Rich Hill Fountain, No. 1564, Darlington 
Heights, Va., and Golden Grain Fountain, No. 1799, Pamplin 
City, Va. 

Mr. Anderson is a man of great influence, and before his 
connection with the True Reformers he was president of a 
large benevolent body. This body, as it stood, was made True 
Reformers through their former leader. This Fountain's 
name is Forward March, No. 2192, Prospect, Va. In 1905 he 
worked up a club, and was able to organize it into Press On- 


ward Fountain, No. 2290, Throck, Va. ; also a Rosebud Foun- 
tain, No. 869, composed of forty children, from Silver Light 
Fountain. He has in his field quite a number of Fountains in 
a prosperous condition; also two Rosebuds. 

Mr. Andersor is heart and hand in the work of the True 
Reformers, which has done more to uplift the Negro Race 
than any order that has ever existed among the Negroes. 
This grand old Order is compelled to go on when the strong 
arm of our Maker is thrown around the leaders to keep them 
from sinking or erring. 


Chief, Smith-field, Va. 

W. H. Davis was born in Isle of Wight county, Va., May 
20, 18G0, of free parents— Rev. Robert and Mrs. Georgiana 
Davis, who were the parents of fourteen children. 

His advantages for school training were very meager. He 
attended school daily for ten months only. At the age of 
twenty-three he married Miss Amy L. Leslie, a school teacher. 
In 1884 he purchased twenty-six and one-half acres of land 
and built his own house upon it. Since then he has pur- 
chased two farms, consisting altogether of one hundred and 
twenty-two and one-half acres. 

He became a member of the Grand Fountain, United Order 
of True Reformers, March 9, 1893. In this Fountain — No. 
508 — Mr. Davis was made Worthy Master and Messenger. 
He was also made Chief and Deputy of Smithfield Division. 


Chief, Newport News. 

The subject of this sketch, Mr. J. D. Hagins, was born in 
Fayetteville, N. C, June 11, 1853. His parents were Joseph 
and Harriet Hagins. He had but little school training. 


In 1873 he moved to St. James county, La. In 1879 he 
moved to St. Joseph, La., and worked at his trade, which was 
carpentry. At this place he met Miss Virginia Green, who 
became his bride in 1882. In the same year he was converted 
and baptized by Rev. N. G. Brownsey. 

In 1892 he joined Blooming Star Fountain, No. 436. In 
1899 he worked up Growing Hope Fountain, No. 1218, and 
in the same year he worked up a Rosebud. On September 23, 
1904, Mr. Hagins was appointed Chief of Newport News 


Charleston, W. Va. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Rockingham county, 
N. C, October 11, 1850. His mother and father were slaves. 
When he was about three years old his parents were sold from 
him and carried to the State of Mississippi, where they died 
during the Civil War. When he was about five years old he 
was carried by his owner from North Carolina to West Ten- 
nessee, about thirty-five miles from Memphis. 

In the fall of 1868, at the age of eighteen years, he entered 
one of the common schools of Memphis. In 1879 he entered 
Rust University, at Holly Springs. 

In March, 1901, he was appointed as drummer and clerk in 
the Reformers' grocery at Washington, D. C, and in October, 
1904, he was appointed Chief at Alexandria, Va. 


Chief, Reidsville, N. C. 

The subject of this sketch was born July 15, 1862, at Went- 
worth, N. C. He was the son of Frank and Sarah Miller. As 
soon as the opportunity presented itself, he was sent to the 
public school. 


His father died, leaving the family for him to care for. 
Seeing there was no chance for him to go to school any more, 
he turned his mind upon a plan to make and have something. 
So, as fast as he could make a dollar above expenses, he would 
put it out on interest and invest it in real estate. 

When the banner of True Eeformerism was planted in 
Eeidsville, N". C, his present home, he saw the good work 
done by the Order. He got up the second Fountain organ- 
ized in Eeidsville, N. C, known as the Lily of the Valley 
Fountain, No. 550, which was organized July 28, 1893. He 
was appointed Chief of Eeidsville Division December 2, 1899. 


Chief, Winchester, Va. 

The subject of this sketch was born at Warrenton, Va., De- 
cember 25, 1859. His parents were slaves. His father ran 
away to Canada the same year that he was born. His mother 
and grandfather were among the first to leave Warrenton 
during the war. They came to Manassas, and remained there 
until General Jackson's raid. He was lost during the time 
of the raid, and it took him three weeks to walk twenty-seven 

Mr. Quiett attended the graded schools of Alexandria, Va., 
until seventeen years of age. He was then permitted to go to 
Hampton. At this time he was superintendent of one of the 
largest Sunday-schools in that city, and they gave him his 
fare to school and fifty cents over. 

After his graduation in 1880, he taught school. His first 
school was eighteen miles from Manassas. He has taught 
school every year since 1880, having been principal for twenty- 
five years. During his spare time he studied theology, and 
was ordained a minister in May, 1892. 

At the solicitation of Eev. W. L. Taylor, Mr. Quiett joined 
the Glen Echo Fountain, United Order of True Eeformers, 


in 1891. He continues to work to induce others to become 
members of the Organization. Though the people of his 
Race are few at his home, he has succeeded in establishing 
eleven Senior Fountains and three Rosebuds. He has put 
fifty members in the Classes and sold over one hundred shares 
of Bank stock. 

MR, W. G. L. WYATT, 

Chief, Wilmington, A r . C. 

Mr. W. G. L. Wyatt, the subject of this sketch, was born at 
Popular Mount, Greenesville county, Va., June, 1864, where 
he lived with his parents, Harriet P. and Sandy Wyatt, both 
of whom were slaves. 

During his boyhood days he attended the district school 
and worked for his parents until he was grown. He felt the 
need of more learning, and his friends advised him to go to 
the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. After leav- 
ing Hampton, he engaged in teaching school and in the mer- 
cantile business. 

In 1898 he connected himself with the Grand Fountain, 
United Order of True Reformers. One month after joining 
he was elected Worthy Master of his Fountain, which position 
he held until 1904, when he accepted a position in the Main 
Office of the Grand Fountain, at Richmond, Va. 

In September, 1904, he was appointed Chief and State Dep- 
uty, Wilmington, N. C, Division. He has been successful in 
putting one hundred and seventy-six members into old Foun- 
tains, and organized six new Fountains, with a membership of 
two hundred and sixty-eight. 


Chief, Charlottesville, Va. 

The subject of this sketch was born at Midway Mills, Nel- 
son county, Va., June 27, 1860. His parents were William and 


Louisa Woodson. He attended school for the first time in 
1868, which was taught by a colored man by the name of 
Hardin Goolsby, near Norwood, in Nelson county. He con- 
tinued to attend school during each winter until 1879. He 
began teaching school January 15, 1883. July 25, 1889, he 
was married to Miss Izetta Green, of Greenfield, Va. 

Mr. Woodson became a member of the Grand Fountain, 
United Order of True Reformers, in March, 1895, working 
up Fisherville Fountain, No. 727. He was appointed Deputy 
by Rev. W. W. Browne in May, 1896, with a territory extend- 
ing from Basic City to Hagerstown, Md. He was then sent 
to New River field, of West Virginia, with headquarters at 
Clifton Forge, Va. In October, 1899, he was transferred to 
the Lynchburg, Va., Division. In November, 1900, Mr. Wood- 
son took charge of the Washington, D. C, Division, where he 
organized twenty-three Fountains and twelve Rosebuds, add- 
ing altogether nearly three thousand members to the several 
departments of the Order. In July, 1903, the splendid new 
building in Washington was dedicated under his administra- 

In October, 1903, he was. transferred to the Roanoke, Va., 
Division. In November, 1904, he took charge of the Bluefield, 
W. Va., Division, and managed to build two Fountains and 
four Rosebuds during the nine months spent there. As to 
stock. Class members and subscriptions to The Reformer, he 
has done considerable work. In October, 1905, he was trans- 
ferred to the Charlottesville Division. 


Chief, Manchester, Va. 

The subject of this sketch, Mr. S. W. Johnson, was born in 
Powhatan county, Va., March 17, 1868. His parents, Joseph 
and Georgiana Johnson, were ex-slaves. Before he reached 
the age of two years his father died. His mother moved to 


Manchester, Va. He entered the Manchester public schools. 
After passing nearly all the grades in the city school, he 
started to work for the care of his mother. 

Having been a member of the Grand Fountain, United Or- 
der of True Reformers since 1891, he made application to Rev. 
W. L. Taylor for the position as Chief of Manchester Divi- 
sion, and late in September of 1904, Mr. Johnson received 
this appointment. In eighteen months he organized nine 
Fountains and rebuilt one — an average of over one Fountain 
every sixty days, to say nothing of Class members and put- 
ting new members into various Senior Fountains and Rose- 
bud Fountains. 


Chief, New York Division. 

The subject of this sketch was born at Griffin, Ga., February 
4, 1856. His parents were Jefferson and Mary Taylor. His 
early education was acquired at Star street school and Clarke 
school, in Atlanta, Ga., and at night school in Philadelphia, 

In 1894 he called his friends together and organized a club, 
which became Lincoln Fountain, No. 653, New York, N. Y. 
Later he was appointed as Chief of New York Division. By 
the hearty co-operation of the members, the Fountains grew 
from eleven to twenty-one in numbers, and the membership 
from five hundred and twenty to eight hundred, and from 
two Rosebuds to four. They now report their numerical 
strength as being thirty-five Fountains, with one thousand 
seven hundred members, and nine Rosebuds, with three hun- 
dred members. 

Financially, they have handled for the Grand Fountain 
forty-five thousand four hundred and sixty dollars and fifteen 
cents; received from the Grand Fountain for distribution in 
New York and New Jersey, as death claims, eleven thousand 
two hundred and seventy-three dollars. 


For two years after the death of State Deputy Reed, it be- 
came the duty of Mr. Taylor to settle the claims in New Jer- 
sey, and the total amount of money handled by him for all 
purposes during the seven years was fifty-six thousand seven 
hundred and thirty-three dollars and fifteen cents. 


Chief, Northern New Jersey. 

The subject of this sketch was born January 16, 1868, in 
Mecklenburg county, Va., of poor parents. When he reached 
the age of ten years he was placed on a farm. He was very 
anxious for an education, yet he worked hard and went to 
school whenever he could. He graduated from the public 
school in 1889, at the age of twenty-one years. He spent one 
term at Thyne's Institute, Chase City, Va., then took an ex- 
amination for public school teacher, and received a first grade 
school in Lunenburg county, Va. 

When the True Reformers were introduced in Brooklyn, 
N. Y., he connected himself with the first Fountain which 
was organized — Brooklyn Fountain, No. 600. He worked up 
several Fountains in Brooklyn, which promoted him to the 
position of Assistant Chief of Brooklyn Division. Later he 
was appointed Chief of the Division, and served this position 
with honor until 1903, when he was transferred to New Jer- 
sey as Chief of Newark Division and State Deputy of New 

Since being in Newark he has added fifteen new Fountains 
and Rosebuds to the Brotherhood; also many Class members, 
and has succeeded in organizing a Fountain or Rosebud in 
nearly every town in his district. 



Assistant Rosebud Lecturer, Atlanta, Ga. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Athens, Clark county, 
Ga., August, 1875. Her parents moved to Atlanta, Ga., where 
she attended Spellman Seminary. After teaching three years, 
she entered Morris Brown College. While teaching summer 
school, she met Mr. A. H. Howard, to whom she was mar- 
ried in June, 1894. After a lapse of about three years, she 
again began teaching in the Turner High School, at Coving- 
ton, Ga. 

In 1901 she connected herself with the Grand Fountain of 
the United Order of True Reformers, and succeeded in organ- 
izing a Senior and Rosebud Fountain at Atlanta, Ga. She 
then accepted a position as clerk in the Main Office of the 
Grand Fountain. After serving as clerk in the Supply depart- 
ment for some time, she was appointed as Chief of Columbus, 
Ga., Division. 


Dejmty, Harrisburg, Pa. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Charlotte county, 
Va., August 14, 1869. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
Hilliary Richardson. She entered Baker Street School, Rich- 
mond, Va., in 1876; then she entered the normal school, where 
she remained until the death of her mother. She was mar- 
ried in 1895 to Mr. John R. Jones, of Washington, D. C. On 
December 21, 1898, Mr. Jones died, after a brief illness. In 
1899 she became interested in the True Reformers. She as- 
sisted Mr. P. J. Hewlett in working up a club, which was or- 
ganized and known as Huntington Valley Fountain, No. 1276. 
She was made Worthy Mistress of her Fountain, and later 
was appointed Special Deputy, with headquarters at Trenton, 
N. J. During her stay at Trenton she organized three Foun- 


tains and three Rosebuds, one Fountain in New Brunswick, 
and raised two hundred and twenty-five dollars and twenty- 
three cents for the Old Folk's Home rally. 

In October, 1905, she was sent to Harrisburg, Pa., as Dis- 
trict Deputy. She left seven Fountains and three Rosebuds in 
good standing with the Grand Fountain. Since October 17th 
she has organized one Fountain. She also worked up Jenkin- 
town Fountain, No. 1584, and Rosebud No. 488. She was a 
delegate to the annual session in Richmond, Va., in 1901. 


Chief, Brooklyn, N. Y. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Nottoway county, 
Va. He entered the public school of Chestefield at ten years 
of age. He entered the church when he was twelve years of 
age. He was married in Petersburg, Va., in 1890. He took 
up the work of the Order in 1891. 

In February, 1903, he received an appointment as Chief 
and Secretary of Brooklyn Division, with Jersey City at- 
tached. Since coming to Brooklyn, four Fountains and four 
Rosebuds have been organized, one Fountain at Bayshore, L. 
I., one Fountain resurrected, and one transferred. 


Chief, Roanoke, Va. 

J. Frank Douglass was born in Suffolk, Nansemond county, 
Va., May 23, 1870. The days of his childhood and youth were 
spent in the town of his birth. He was reared by his grand 
and great-grandparents, Mrs. Jordan Thompson and Mr. and 
Mrs. Jack Douglass. His great-grandfather, Jack Douglass, 
was fifer in the late Civil War. After finishing from the 
public schools of the town, he attended the Virginia Normal 


and Collegiate Institute, Petersburg, Va. 5 finishing therefrom 
in 1892, at the head of his class. His thesis upon the "Behring 
Sea Controversy 7 ' won for him the prize. He entered Shaw 
University, Kaleigh, N. C, November 1, 1892, to take up the 
study of law. He graduated March 1, 1894, with the degree 
of LL. B. Immediately after finishing, he settled at Boydton, 
Mecklenburg county, Ya. On December 24, 1894, he was mar- 
ried to Miss Marion Hunter, one of the leading young ladies 
of the town. In 1899 he was a candidate for justice of the 
peace for the town of Chase City, Ya. This was a contest 
royal, because there were three whites and himself running, 
when only three could be elected, and the justice that young 
Douglass had to beat had been justice and mayor of the town 
for eighteen years. But through the careful management of 
his trusted lieutenant, Mr. C. AY. Davis, Jr., he won. He 
qualified before the county court of Mecklenburg and served 
his term of two years. During his term of office there was 
not a single appeal taken from any of his decisions. In the 
fall of 1902 he was secretary to Yice-Grand Master E. T. An- 
derson, with headquarters in Lynchburg. Later he was sent 
to Charlotte, N. C, as State Deputy, which position he filled 
for nine months. He was then assigned to Roanoke, Ya., as 
manager of the Reformers' Mercantile and Industrial Associa- 
tion's store, and was also appointed Chief of Roanoke Divi- 
sion in 1904, which position he now holds; in addition, he 
has the East Radford Division, which includes Salem and 
Bristol, Ya. During his administration The Reformer is hav- 
ing a wide circulation, going into many homes where it has 
never been before. The rents are not balanced yearly, but 
monthly ; contributions for the Old Folk's Homes have swelled 
from a mere pittance into hundreds of dollars, and all other 
departments have increased their accounts over former years. 
The membership has not only steadily increased, but is still 
increasing in a substantial way, by the addition of many of 
the well-to-do, influential and business citizens of the Division. 

GrRAND FOUNTAIN. tJ. O. T. R. . 493 


Deputy, Franklin, Va. 

The subject of this sketch, Mrs. Sarah Poole Diggs, was 
born in Norfolk, Va., in 1860. Her parents were the late Wil- 
liam H. and Sarah A. Poole, both of whom were noble Chris- 
tian characters. 

After attending the private and public schools of Norfolk, 
at the age of thirteen years she became a pupil in the Parker 
street grammar school, New Bedford, Mass. Later she entered 
the Hampton Institute,, where she graduated in 1876. In Oc- 
tober of 1886 she began her career as a public school teacher 
at Norfolk, Va., where she taught for three years. 

In 1879 she was married to Mr. R. H. L. Traynliam, and 
to this union two children were born. Upon the death of Mr. 
Traynliam, she accepted a position as teacher of the Sand Hill 
school, near Franklin, Va., and for the past ten years has 
taught in Southampton county, Va. She has not confined her 
labors to the school room, but has been especially interested 
in the fireside schools, endeavoring to help others as well as 
herself. At present she is principal of the town public school 
of Franklin, Va. 

In 1892 she became identified with the Grand Fountain of 
the United Order of True Reformers, being a charter member 
of Earnest Workers Fountain, No. 475, Norfolk, Va. Com- 
ing to Drewryville, Va., in 1893, finding that conventions for 
the work were opened there by Mr. E. W. Brown, editor of 
The Reformer, and the late Mrs. Nettie P. Claud, she assisted 
them along all lines of the work. Later she was appointed 
Deputy in charge of the work in this field. While Deputy 
she organized twenty-four new Senior Fountains and eight 
Rosebuds. There were over sixty Fountains in her field at 
one time. In 1903 she was married to Rev. P. W. Diggs, 
whom she now assists with the work. 

In February, 1906, she was a delegate to the first Union 
Rosebud Convention of the Southern Grand Division, having 


the honor of representing the Union Rosebud Board of Man- 
agers of Franklin Division. She is Messenger of Courtland 
Beauty Fountain, No. 1984, Senior Mother of Eosebud No. 
312, and Past President of the Eosebud Board of Managers. 


Chief, Charlotte, N. C. 

The subject of this sketch, Mr. C. H. Watson, State Deputy 
of North Carolina, with headquarters at Charlotte, N. C, was 
born in Prince George county, Md. He attended the public 
schools of that State during his early life. He moved to 
Washington, D. C, with his parents, and there he entered the 
newspaper business. Upon becoming of age, he went into the 
mercantile business, which he conducted for fourteen years. 
Later he conducted a restaurant. In 1892 he was married to 
Miss Cornelia Lucas, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. Lucas. 
They lived happily together for about fourteen years, and 
there were born to them three children — two girls and one boy. 
Mrs. Watson died in 1905. He was the proprietor of the Uni- 
versity Cafe, near Howard University. In 1906 he sold his 
interest in this cafe and accepted the position with the True 

He was a member of the National Guard of the District of 
Columbia, and commissioned lieutenant by President Cleve- 
land. He is a member of the St. Lukes and a prominent mem- 
ber, officer and worker of the Congregational church. 

When he went to Charlotte, N. C., to take charge of the 
work of the True Eeformers, there were only eight members 
of the Organization in the city, one hundred and fifty having 
gone out from it, and were doing all that they could to get 
those eight members. In the face of the above condition, the 
first year that Mr. Watson was in North Carolina he organized 
six Fountains and two Eosebuds, and to-day there are ten 
Fountains and three Eosebuds in Charlotte. 



Chiefs Staunton, Va. 

The subject of this sketch, Mr. J. J. Parker, was born in 
Southampton county, Va., December 12, 1850. His parents 
were Lawson and Hannah Parker. 

Three years after the war he began attending night school, 
and continued private studies until he had received a fairly 
good education. He was one of the leading colored builders 
and contractors of Norfolk for twenty-five years. He is a de- 
vout Christian and earnest church worker. He was president 
of the Emancipation Association of his native city for sev- 
eral years. 

He united with the Grand Fountain, United Order of True 
Reformers, April 18, 1892, and has been a constant worker 
since that time. He worked his way through his local Foun- 
tain and served as collector of rents, and later as Assistant 
Chief of Norfolk Division. He was afterwards made Chief 
of Staunton Division. He rebuilt, worked up and organized 
eleven Fountains and three Rosebuds, and has brought four 
hundred and ninety-one members into the Order. 


Chief, Harrisonburg, Va. 

Silas H. Jackson was born in Highland county, Va., Jan- 
uary 5, 1857. His parents, Robert and Sarah A. Jackson, 
were both slaves. Silas, the sixth child of the family, started 
out to work for a livelihood when he was nine years of age, 
and at the age of eleven he was taught his alphabet by his 
employers. In November, 1872, he moved to Circlesville, O., 
with his parents, where he entered a free school in January, 
1873. In the year 1874 the family returned to Virginia, and 
located at Crawford's Springs, Augusta county, where he was 
able to pursue his studies further, being instructed by his 


employer's wife. In 1876 he entered the public school at Mid- 
dlebrook, Va., and also attended night school. 

Mr. Jackson professed religion and joined the M. E. church 
in 1876, and in 1881 he, with the family, moved to Greenville, 
Va., where he became identified with the A. M. E. church. 
He has held the offices of steward, trustee and recording sec- 
retary in the church. In 1885 he was elected a delegate to the 
District Conference, which convened in Winchester, Va. He 
has also been a faithful worker in the Sabbath schools, re- 
gardless of denomination. 

In 1886 he entered the high school at Staunton, Va., and in 
the fall of the same year was appointed assistant teacher in 
Greenville, Va. On December 9, 1886, he was married to 
Miss Sarah M. Halliburton, of Greenville, Va. 

Mr. Jackson first became interested in the Organization of 
True Reformers in 1892, and succeeded in organizing Raphine 
Fountain, Xo. 485, in August of the same year. He was ap- 
pointed Special Deputy, and rendered valuable assistance in 
building up the work. 

In 1898 he was appointed Chief of Staunton, Va., Division, 
and in 1900 he was appointed Chief to organize the Harrison- 
burg, Va., Division, which position he held for six years. 


Head Bookkeeper. Reformers' 1 Bank, Cashier of the St. Luke 

Penny Savings Bank. 

Emmett C. Burke, the subject of this sketch, was born in 
Richmond, Va., January 5, 1875, being the fourth child in a 
family of eight of Charles and Martha Burke. 

He entered Baker school at the age of eight, going through 
each grade without a failure, and in the year 1889 entered the 
Richmond Normal and High School, from which he grad- 
uated with honors in 1893. 

During his ten years in the public schools of the city he 
never failed to pass a single examination. 


His parents being poor and encumbered with a large f amily, 
he materially assisted in the education and support of himself 
by the sale of the morning and afternoon papers. After 
graduation he taught in the county schools, which position he 
resigned to become the valet of the late Dr. William Morris, 

At an early age he became a member of the Grand Fountain, 
United Order of True Reformers. During a visit of the Grand 
Master, Eev. W. W. Browne, to his lodge, he was introduced 
to the subject of this sketch, and the next day tendered him a 
position as clerk in the Bank, which was accepted, July BO, 
1894. Starting from the lowest position, he by strict attention 
to business and honest service was constantly promoted until 
he became assistant paying and receiving teller. 

October, 1903, he accepted the position of cashier of the St. 
Luke Penny Savings Bank, a new venture among the St. Luke 
organizations. Under his management this bank has grown 
until now its resources amount to more than $100,000. The 
bank owns property, upon which not a cent is owed, to the 
amount of more than forty-three thousand dollars. 

Mr. Burke is prominent in business, social and fraternal 
circles of the city, being a director and treasurer of the St, 
Luke Emporium Association, doing a general dry goods busi- 
ness; a director of the People's Eeal Estate and Investment 
Company, a Mason, Elk, St. Luke, Reformer, a member of 
Corinthian Ben Club, treasurer of Astoria Ben Club, a mem- 
ber of the Dunbar Literary and Historical Society, Douglas 
Lyceum, and Violet Art Circle, and last, but by no means least, 
a member of the Ebenezer Baptist church. 

In June, 1904, he married Miss Amy Blanche Moseley, a 
teacher in the public schools of Richmond, the accomplished 
daughter of the late Jacob and Mary Moseley. This union has 
been blessed by two children, Carolyn Felicia, who died in in- 
fancy, and Emmett Moseley a promising youngster. 



Grand Worthy Secretary. 

William Patrick Burrell was born in Richmond, Va., on 
November 25, 1865. His parents were William P. and Mildred 
Burrell, who had just emerged from slavery and naturally in 
straightened circumstances. William was one of fourteen chil- 
dren, and was of a rather delicate constitution, but was always 
considered a bright and intelligent lad. His father was a hotel 
servant, while his mother helped care for the large and grow- 
ing family by "taken in washen." 

William's uncle was the well-known James B. Burrell, who 
was a leader in business and social circles in the early days 
of the reconstruction. He was one of the few men who secured 
a fairly good business education during the dark days of 
slavery. So well was he educated that he was appointed clerk 
of the Fifty-seventh Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, 
which position he held until the end of the war. Immediately 
after the war he turned his attention to business, and, together 
with P. H. Woolfolk, Joseph E. Farrar, John Adams and James 
Turner, organized many business concerns, the most 
noted of which was the Virginia Building, Loan and Trust 
Company. This was the first enterprise of its kind that 
was organized in the South by Negroes, and through its assist- 
ance hundreds of men and women in Richmond bought their 
first property. 

Young William early showed signs of business ability, and 
at the age of five was selling ice water to the patrons of 
the horse cars then running on Grace street, in the city of 

In those days there were many "Benevolent Societies" con- 
ducted for "juveniles" as well as adults, and at the age of 
seven William was a member of the "Rising Sons and Daugh- 
ters of Daniel," and was not long in being promoted to the 
important post of "Moderator," under the guidance of Mrs. 
Louisa Anderson, who was the "Mother" of the society. This 


was his first experience in the "society" world. He soon found 
himself presiding in the juvenile department of the society of 
"Love and Charity," under Augustus Clay, an old-time society 
leader and organizer. 

At eight years of age he entered the public schools of Rich- 
mond, being a pupil of the Baker school, then just erected by 
Mr. George Boyd, a colored contractor. This is a large build- 
ing of thirteen rooms, accommodating eight hundred pupils. 
Young Burrell, in a few years, passed through every grade of 
Baker school, and found himself promoted to the Richmond 
Colored Normal and High School, from which he graduated 
with honors in 1884. 

We have stated that young Burrell's mother was a washer- 
woman, and as such William was her principal assistant, 
carrying and bringing clothes and helping to "mark" them. 
This he continued in later years even while teaching in the 
Baker school. In carrying clothes William was thrown in con- 
tact with all kinds of business men, who seemed to take an in- 
terest in him, and he thus early developed ideas in advance of 
his age, and was found reading and studying every question of 
economic interest that he could get. 

He was "converted" and joined the Moore Street Baptist 
church at the age of twelve, although three years prior to that 
time he had been officially connected with the Moore Street 
Sunday-school as librarian and secretary. He immediately 
became prominent in the affairs of the church, and it was not 
long before he was successively elected church clerk, janitor, 
deacon, treasurer and trustee. The last three offices are yet 
held by him. He was elected assistant secretary of the Rich- 
mond Baptist Sunday-school Union at the age of eleven years, 
and in time filled the offices of secretary, chaplain and presi- 
dent. This union has over twenty schools connected with it 
and five thousand scholars. He is now filling his eleventh 
term as president. 

In the church and Sunday-school work, Mr. Burrell was 
early thrown into intercourse with the leading colored men 


and women of the State of Virginia, and so when William W. 
Browne came to Richmond in 1880 with his Reformer idea, 
one of the first persons to greet him was W. P. Burrell, then 
fifteen years of age. He was introduced to Mr. Browne by 
the old sexton of the Moore Street Baptist church, Mr. Michael 
Crump. About his introduction to W. P. Burrell, W. W. 
Browne said on one occasion in a public speech (April 8, 
1895) : "I started out with a record, and when I started, this 
little fellow (having reference to W. P. Burrell) was a little, 
old boy. He did not have any beard. I could not get anybody 
who had any education to notice me. They said that I was a 
fool. I could not get them to understand that I was not a 

"Old man Michael Crump, of Moore Street Baptist church, 
used to think a great deal of me. I used to be pleased when 
the old man came about me. I asked him one day: 'Brother 
Crump, can you tell me about an old man or a young man, 
that is a good, honest man, whom I can get? I want a man 
that can keep a record. I cannot both preside and write, too.' 

"He told .me that he knew of a boy; that he was out of the 
Order, but that he would go and see his mother and try to get 
him to join. He said that his name was W. P. Burrell; he 
said that he was about fifteen years old. He brought the boy 
before me. I saw that he had a very peculiar-looking eye. 
Some people say that he is like a lizard — that he keeps one 
eye on the crowd and the other on the boss. That is just what 
we got him to do — to keep one eye on me and the other on 
the crowd. He would not be a good secretary if he did not, 
because he wants to record what I do and what the body does, 
too; and he has thirty young lizards that he is training right 
under him." 

Again, referring to this same introduction in a speech de- 
livered at Washington, D. O, in 1890, W. W. Browne said: 
"I am proud of him, because, when no one else would help me, 
he came and offered his assistance, when ofttimes he could do 
nothing else but come and cheer me in my loneliness." 


From his first introduction into the True Eeformers, W. P. 
Burrell was a staunch and loyal supporter of Rev. W. W. 
Browne, though he did not at all times agree with every idea 
proposed and advanced by him, because he had been trained 
by Mr. Browne to think for himself, and thereby help him 
to bring out the very best results for the interest of his people. 
In the famous session at Ashland, Va., in 1883, it was young 
Burrell who saved the life of W. W. Browne when Mary M. 
Lee, a woman of gigantic stature and immense strength, seized 
a lighted lamp and would have thrown it into the face of Rev. 
Browne had not Burrell interposed his body between the two. 
For this act Mr. Browne was ever grateful. 

The True Reformers having been started by the Good Tem- 
plars, it was soon discovered that the rituals and constitution 
prepared by the Good Templars was not the best for the Or- 
ganization of True Reformers, and so, at the session of 1885, 
W. P. Burrell recommended that the rituals of the Organiza- 
tion be revised. This recommendation was adopted, and Rev. 
W. W. Browne and W. P. Burrell were appointed a commit- 
tee on revision of the Fountain ritual and the degree ritual. 
This work was undertaken by them and accomplished, as can 
be seen by reference to the preface in both the Fountain and 
degree rituals. 

Prior to 1885 the Grand Fountain did not have an office of 
its own, and upon the recommendation of Mr. Burrell, an 
office was opened at No. 105 West Jackson street. There has 
been no important work in connection with the development 
of the Grand Fountain that W. P. Burrell has not taken an 
active part in. He has always been a close student of insurance 
questions, and has contended that not only the True Reform- 
ers, but all Negro insurance enterprises, should be placed upon 
a strictly scientific basis. Realizing that a mortuary table is 
the basis of all insurance, and knowing that there was no 
such table for the guidance of insurance for Negroes, he has 
repeatedly contended and recommended to the insurance or- 
ganizations of the country among Negroes, that such a table 


be formulated by the compiling of the experiences of each 
individual organization. 

In 1899 he was appointed by Hon. J. Hoge Tyler, Governor 
of Virginia, to the position of Curator of the Hampton Normal 
and Agricultural Institute. In this position, in connection 
with others — three white and two colored — it is his duty to 
see that the funds coming to the Institute from the State of 
Virginia are used as provided by law. As a member of the 
board he has shown great interest in the affairs of the Hamp- 
ton Normal School, and has been recognized as one of its 
foremost supporters. He has been secretary of the Board of 
Curators ever since he was appointed on the board. 

"The Hampton Negro Conference," which convenes annually 
at Hampton, under the auspices of the Hampton Institute, is 
one of the most important factors for the advancement of all 
matters of interest to Negroes. Mr. Burrell has been for years 
chairman of the committee on economics, and, as its name im- 
plies, takes up all questions of economic interest to the Negroes. 
Mr. Burrell directed the attention of the conference to the ne- 
cessity for the proper conducting of Negro insurance enter- 
prises, and to that end, in 1904, presented a report on "The 
Negro in Insurance." This article was very exhaustive, and 
was pronounced by critics, such as Mr. Hoffman, of the Pru- 
dential Insurance Company, as the best ever produced in this 
line. Following the production of this article, each year since 
the conference has devoted much time to the subject of insur- 
ance. There have been conducted "round tables," at which 
many leading actuaries of the country, such as Mr. Hun- 
ter and Mr. Young, of the New York Life, have spoken, 
and finally, by the introduction of Mr. William S. Dodd, 
late of the Mutual Benefit, of New Jersey, at whose 
suggestion an organization known as the "Federated 
Insurance League" was started, composed of all of the 
leading insurance organizations and fraternal societies among 
Negroes. Of this organization Mr. Burrell was unanimously 
chosen president. He has not only been prominent in insur- 


ance circles, but has taken great interest in politics, being 
recognized as one of the leading exponents of the rights of his 
people, and the last speech made in Richmond, Va., in any 
general political gathering of whites and blacks, in defense 
of his people, was made by W. P. Burrell against odds. 

He has been offered numerous Federal jobs, all of which he 
has declined, because of his love for and interest in the Grand 
Fountain, of which he is the oldest member living. 

In religious circles he has been among the leaders, and to-day 
is president of the Richmond Sunday-school Union; deacon, 
treasurer and trustee of the Moore Street Missionary Baptist 
church ; a member of the executive board of the Virginia Bap- 
tist State Sunday-school Convention; a member and secretary 
of the board of directors of the Colored Y. M. C. A., Rich- 
mond, Va., and trustee of the Colored Y. M. C. A., and secre- 
tary of the Deacons' Conference of Richmond. 

In 1895 Mr. Burrell represented the Sunday-schools of the 
State of Virginia, in connection with Dr. D. Webster Davis, 
at the great International Convention, held at Toronto, Canada. 
At this convention he was honored with important committee 
positions, all of which he filled with satisfaction. 

In his report to the annual session held at Danville, Va., in 
1889, he made a recommendation which has since not only been 
adopted by the True Reformers, but by all organizations, and 
that is "burial by committee." It is true that the Grand 
Fountain did not see its way clear to adopt this "burial by 
committee" until four years later, yet at his suggestion the 
matter had been agitated, and was adopted four years later. 

It was in January, 1881, that W. P. Burrell was first intro- 
cluced to W. W. Browne, and was immediately engaged as his 
private secretary, and as the secretary of the Mount Erie 
Fountain, No. 4, which was afterwards known as Mount Erie 
Fountain, No. 1. After the "split" at Ashland, in 1883, this 
Fountain was entirely reorganized by the introduction of new 
members, secured almost entirely by W. P. Burrell and one 
Mrs. Caroline Gilpin. 


As a Deputy, he was first appointed over the Danville, Va., 
district in 1883, but he never served in that capacity. How- 
ever, he was first and foremost in building the work in the 
neighborhood and vicinity of Richmond. In 1884 he was 
elected Grand Worthy Secretary to fill the unexpired term of 
Mr. P. H. Woolfolk. He has been instrumental in organizing 
a large number of Fountains in various parts of Virginia and 
in North Carolina. His duties as Grand Worthy Secretary 
have been of such a nature as to make it impossible for him 
to give much attention to the field, which was not under his 
direction, but that of the Grand Worthy Master. The organi- 
zation of the office of the Grand Fountain is a monument to 
his ability, not only as Secretaiy, but as a director of clerical 

In the winter of 1885, Mr. Burrell was elected as public 
school teacher at Richmond, Va., and held this position for 
several years; but he resigned in 1889, to take entire control 
of the office of the Grand Fountain. So well was the Grand 
Fountain pleased with the work and ability of W. P. Burrell 
that at the Danville session in 1889, upon motion of Rev. W. F. 
Graham, the following resolution was adopted : 

"Whereas, it is very necessary for the Grand Worthy Sec- 
retary to give all his time to that office; be it 

"Resolced, That should nothing happen to cause his re- 
moval, AY. P. Burrell be elected by acclamation for that office 
every year in succession." 

Mr. Burrell is prominent among many organizations besides 
the True Reformers. He is Past Grand Chaplain of the I. B. 
O. of E. ; Past Master of the Masons, and a member of the 
Knights of P} 7 thians; he is also a member of several benevo- 
lent clubs, the Mechanics' Star Association, trustee of the Na- 
tional Training School and Chautauqua at Durham, N. C, 
for the Colored Race, and trustee of Jonesboro Industrial 

As a newspaper correspondent Mr. Burrell has had ap- 
pointments with some of the leading papers of the country, 

GRAND FOUNTAIN, U. 0. T. R. 505 

and has been entrusted with important matters for investiga- 
tion and report. He furnished material aid to Mr. Andrew 
Carnegie for his famous debate on the Negro question at the 
University of Edinburg, for which he received the personal 
thanks of that great philanthropist and literary genius. . 

For several years Mr. Burrell "read" medicine — in fact, he 
took up the study with his lifelong friend, Dr. M. B. Jones; 
but after securing a good medical library, and many valuable 
anatomical specimens, he dropped the study and turned his 
attention to insurance. 

He is one of the principal stockholders in the Richmond 
Hospital and Medical School, and has been for years a mem- 
ber of the board of directors and chairman of the finance 
committee. This hospital is the leading colored one in the 
State of Virginia, and has on its staff some of the leading 
surgeons of the country of both races. Its work is largely 
that of charity. 

For many years he was interested in the management of the 
Virginia Baptist, the organ of the colored Baptists of Vir- 
ginia, as stockholder and business manager. 

Mr. Burrell is of a modest disposition, does not push himself 
forward, but never lets loose whenever aroused in the interest 
of any work entrusted to his care. 

He has a large circle of friends in both races, and is at 
home with everybody. 

In 1885 Mr. Burrell was married to Miss Mary E. Cary, of 
Richmond, Va., and their union is blessed with two bright 
boys, who bid fair to be as useful as their parents have been. 

Miss Cary attended the public schools of Richmond and 
graduated in 1883, after which she taught in the public schools 
of Richmond until her marriage. She possesses fine literary 
qualities, and from early childhood has been prominent in 
literary circles. She joined the True Reformers in 1885, and 
immediately entered heartily into the work, which was then 
in its infancy. She assisted her husband in every way, espe- 
cially with the office work. She was one of the first three 


trained canvassers that ever worked for the Order, having 
been trained along with Rev. W. L. Taylor, the present efficient 
and faithful President, and Rev. J. T. Carpenter. 

She organized several Fountains and Rosebuds, and is a 
speaker of no mean ability. At the death of Mrs. L. B. Smith, 
it became the duty of Mrs. Burrell to act as trainer for the 
office force, and in this capacity she trained Mr. M. B. Jones, 
Miss L. P. James, Mrs. M. A. Berry, and others who from 
time to time worked as clerks. 

Mrs. Burrell is prominent in church work, and holds the 
position of chairman of the executive board of the Women's 
Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of the State 
of Virginia. This convention has for its work the cause of 
home and foreign missions and education of needy persons. 
The executive committee is the working body of the conven- 
tion. She has charge of the charity work of the Richmond 
Hospital, and as chairman of the executive board of the 
Women's Auxiliary has to pass on all needy cases applying for 
admission to the charity wards. 

She is president of the Rosebud Board of Managers of Rich- 
mond, Va., and treasurer of the Rosebud Nursery Convention 
of the Southern Grand Division. 

One of the most influential organizations of the State of 
Virginia is the Virginia State Federation of Colored Women. 
This organization is made up of all the women's clubs and 
organizations of the State of Virginia, and advances every 
cause that is to their interest. Mrs. Burrell occupies the re- 
sponsible position of State secretary. 

In all of the great work which her husband has been able 
to so successfully accomplish, she has been a most capable, 
loyal and faithful helper and adviser. 

She is of a kindly disposition, and has a w T ide circle of 
friends. Her home is a gathering place for the leaders of 
Richmond society, and has been the scene of many pleasant 
social gatherings, at some of which Booker T. Washington 
and others have been the guests. 

List of Biographies 


Allen, Mrs. Eliza 305 

Allen, James 404 

Anderson, W. H 482 

Anderson, Rev. W. L 422 

Ashby, Rev. J. H 471 

Bailey, M. T 479 

Banks, S. H 459 

Baskerville, S. H 489 

Braden, J. M 439 

Brown, Rev. E. W 418 

Brown, Rev. Hezekiah 446 

Burke, Emmett C 496 

Burrell, W. P 498 

Burrell, Mrs. M. E 504 

Bushelle, Rev. J. D 441 

Caldwell, Cyrus 467 

Carpenter, Rev. J. T 401 

Chappelle, P. A 463 

Clarke, Carter 459 

Crawley, James H 491 

Davis, W. H 483 

Diggs, Rev. P. W 465 

Diggs, Mrs. S. P 493 

Dixon, Mrs. Elizabeth L 442 

Douglass, J. Frank 491 

Ellis, Edward, Jr 386 

Fox, O. S 444 

Gibson, Mrs. Martha J 477 

Giles, Mrs. V. H. W 458 

Green, C. N 474 


Griffin, C. P 471 

Griffin, W. R 432 

Hagins, J. D 483 

Hall, S. W 426 

Henry, W. S 476 

Hill, David R 431 

Hill, R. T 391 

Hodge, Mrs. L. D 461 

Holmes, A. T 452 

Holmes, A. W 410 

Holmes, Mrs. M. E 430 

Howard, Mrs. M. L 490 

Hunnicutt, J. H -. 463 

Hunter, J. W 462 

Jackson, Joseph M 454 

Jackson, S. H 495 

James, Mrs. F. H 470 

Johnson, S. W 487 

Jones, Rev. D. W 460 

Jones, Mrs. Marie L 490 

Jones, Saint 442 

Lane, Mrs. M. A 427 

Laws, W. D 449 

Lee, Rev. T. D 451 

Ligon, Rev. J. W 442 

Mclntire, Mrs. N. M 470 

McRary, R. B 448 

Merriweather, Dr. John 436 

Miller, George M 484 

Nicholas, P. P 466 

Norrell, Prof. A. V 434 




Nutt, J. H 478 

Oliver, Dr. R. L 423 

Oxley, Mrs. Nannie B 464 

Parker, J. J 495 

Penn, J. W 438 

Pettigrew, J. A 476 

Phillips, Rev. C. H 421 

Phillips, L. B 435 

Puryear, Caliph A 468 

Quiett, J. H 485 

Robertson, J. C 406 

Rooks, John A 468 

Ross, Floyd 428 

Rouselle, Maurice 450 

Scott, P. H 438 

Settles, J. S 484 


Smothers, Rev. J. S 455 

Sommerville, Mrs. N. 1 462 

Taylor, J. H. M ^ 488 

Taylor, T. W 416 

Taylor, Rev. W. L 375 

Thompson, Lewis 465 

Thompson, Mrs. Rosa 428 

Truehart, Rev. A. W 472 

Walker, Joseph 469 

Watkins, H. A 440 

Watson, C. H 494 

Whiting, Rev. Z. T 456 

Willis, Captain 467 

Winters, Prof. H. H 437 

Winters, Mrs. S. J 446 

W T oodson, W. S 486 

Wyatt, W. G. L 486 

Young, Mrs. Lou Ella 473 

List of Illustrations 


Allen, Mrs. Eliza 43 

Allen, James 43 

Alexander, D. D 354 

Anderson, Rev. E. T 70 

Anderson, W. H 261 

Anderson, Rev. W. L. 61 

Armstead (Logan) Eva 115 

Ashby, Rev. J. H 324 

Bailey, Miss Emma 276 

Bailey, Miss Lucy G 276 

Bailey, M. T 273 

Bank and Office, Grand Foun- 
tain, U. O. T. R 31 

Banking Room, 1890 100 

Banking Room, 1895 103 

Banks, Mrs. Prances Bell. . . 240 

Banks, S. H 246 

Baskerville, S. H 208, 267 

Berry, Mrs. M. A 46, 115 

Beverly, Edward 124 

Black, Lawyer I. J 363 

Blackwell, Mrs. Susie P., 

118, 345, 405 

Boyd, William.. 396 

Boyer, Mrs. Emily E 255 

Braden, J. M 324 

Branche, Mrs. Hannah J. . . . 121 

Branham, Miss Lula A 354 

Braxton, John H 101, 193 

Braxton, Mrs. Martha C 118 

Brown, Miss Alice M 264 

Brown, B. A 393 

Brown, Miss Bessie E 264 

Brown, Rev. E. W., 34, 52, 124, 393 

Brown, Miss Emma Q *276 


Brown, Rev. Hezekiah 258 

Brown, John P 121 

Brown, Miss Mary M 378 

Browne, Rev. W. W., 

2, 91, 94, 100, 106 
Browne, Rev. W. W., Office 

of 1895 106 

Browne, Rev. W. W., Parlor 

of, 1883 94 

Browne, Rev. W. W., Resi- 
dence of 28 

Burke, Emmett C 363 

Burke, Miss Sarah E 112 

Burrell, James L 124 

Burrell, Mrs. M. E 88, 223 

Burrell W. P.. 16, 34, 91, 94, 

100, 109, 112, 115, 124, 223 

Bushelle, Rev. J. D 288 

Caldwell, Cyrus 261 

Canvassers School of, 1895. . 121 

Carpenter, Rev. J. T 55, 124 

Cephas, B. A 112 

Chappelle, P. A 232 

Charity, Mrs. Ida E 330 

Clark, Miss Mary P 109 

Clarke, Carter 300 

Connelly, Carrington R 393 

Cousins, 'Mrs. Bettie G. .118, 405 

Cousins, Mrs. Julia E 390 

Dabney, George 109, 21 7 

Dancy, Hon. John C 399 

Davage, G. T 130 

Davenport, Clarke 43 

Davis, Mrs. Annie B 276 

Davis, W. H 270 



Delegates to Fifth Annual 

Session, Grand Fountain.. 13 
Departments of the Office of 
the Grand Fountain, 
U. O. T. R.— 

Accountant, 1909 240 

Bank, 1909 330 

Card-Record, 1909 276 

Correspondence and Rega- 
lia, 1909 405 

Executive, 1909 255 

Finance ^and Real Estate, 

1895 112 

Finance, 1909 264 

General Business, 1909... 223 
Real Estate and Finance, 

1895 112 

Real Estate, 1909 378 

Record and Supply, 1895. . 115 

Record, 1909 339 

Reformer, 1895 124 

Reformer, 1909 393 

Regalia, 1895 118 

Regalia and Correspon- 
dence, 1909 405 

Supply and Record, 1895. . 115 

Supply, 1909 354 

Devotional Meeting, 1895... 40 

Diggs, Rev. P. W 306 

Dismond, Dr. S. H 46 

Division Office, Richmond, 

Va 211 

Dixon, Mrs. E. L 246 

Dixon, F. W 396 

Douglas, Hon. Frederick.... 196 

Douglass, J. Frank 208 

Dunbar, Paul Lawrence .... 411 

Earley, James 124 

Ellis, Edward, Jr.. 19, 34, 106, 240 

Epps, Miss Cora B 330 

Executive Committee, 1909 . . 34 


Farrar, Dr. A. W. G 116 

Fennell, Mrs. M. Ellen Gooden 255 

Ferguson, J. H 160 

Ferrell, Miss Sarah F 339 

Forrester, Mrs. Ella B 393 

Fox, Miss Lillian B 264 

Fox, O. S 360 

Gabbins, Miss Rosetta 223 

Gaines, Philip 352 

Gaines, Dr. R. L 279 

Gardner, Mrs. Elva 390 

Gerst, M. E 94, 101, 112, 249 

Giles, Miss Anna B 354 

Giles, Mrs. V.H.W.109, 264, 315 

Godsey, Mrs. Amanda L 238 

Gordon, Mrs. M. W 112, 294 

Graham, Rev. W. F 175 

Graves, Captain B. A 336, 393 

Green, C. N 235 

Griffin, C. P 360 

Griffin, T. M 279 

Griffin, W. R 205 

Grymes, Miss Mary A 264 

Hagins, J. D 300 

Hall, S. W 154 

Halls of the Grand Fountain, 
U. O. T. R.: 

Manchester, Va 214 

Norfolk, Va 282 

Petersburg, Va 333 

Philadelphia, Pa 408 

Portsmouth, Va 402 

Richmond, Va. — ■ 

Second street 31 

Church Hill 249 

Concert Hall 97 

Fulton 318 

St. Louis, Mo 348 

Washington, D. C 172 

Washington, D. C 202 

Hamilton, Mrs. Georgia 121 




Harris, Allen J 43 

Harris, W. H 121 

Haynie, Miss C. Blanche 276 

Hendley, Miss Mary E 276 

Henry, Mrs. Julia Hall.. 121, 399 

Hewlett, George 124 

Hewlett, Richard L. 124 

Hill, Mrs. America 339 

Hill, D. R 211 

Hill, R. T. .22, 34, 91, 94, 100, 330 

Hodge, Mrs. L. D 229 

Holland, Mrs. Maude J 276 

Holloway, Mrs. Lotta James, 354 

Holmes, A. T 309 

Holmes, Arthur T 393 

Holmes, A. W....34, 58, 94, 121 

Holmes, Mrs. M. E 127 

Homes, Old Folk's 187 

Hotel Reformer 184 

Howard, Mrs. M. L 306 

Hudson, Miss Bertha 276 

Hunnicutt, J. H 270 

Hunter, J. W 208 

Irving, J. H 381 

Jackson, Giles B 46 

Jackson, Joseph M. .101, 157, 330 

Jackson, Mrs. Lena Vaughan 115 

Jackson, R. N 124 

Jackson, Mrs. Sallie A., 

112, 115, 211 

Jackson, S. H 261 

Jackson, W. H 121 

James, Mrs. F. H 85 

James, Joseph G 112 

Jasper, Miss Eva 264 

Jasper, Rev. John 169 

Johnson, Bradford 354 

Johnson, Rev. D. E 255 

Johnson, Miss Eugertha B.. 276 

Johnson, Miss Jessie.. 405 


Johnson,, S. W 208 

Jones, Rev. D. W 324 

Jones, Dr. M. B., 

91, 94, 100, 112, 157 

Jones, Mrs. M. L 306 

Jones, Dr. R. E 64 

Jones, Saint 270 

Jones, Dr. S. G 252 

Kempt, Miss Ascelena 276 

Kyles, R. J 106, 109, 217 

Lacy, Miss Hattie 378 

Lane, Mrs. M. A 136 

Law, Ernest D 354 

Laws, W. D 399 

Lewis, Mrs. Sarah F 363 

Lightfoot, Mrs. Hattie G 354 

Ligon, Rev. J. W 288 

Logan, Mrs. Eva Armstead. 354 

Logan, John H 327 

Mclntire, Mrs. N. M 306 

McPhierson, E 220 

Matthews, William 414 

Merriweather, Dr. John 151 

Miller, G. M 360 

Miller, L. C 124 

Moore, Miss Marie E 354 

Mosely (Burke), Miss Blanche 121 



Neal, Miss Mayme E 339 

Nicholas, P. P 261 

Nobles, G. W 46 

Norrell, Prof. A. V 64 

Nutt, James H 226 

Office Force 37 

Office Force, 1890 91 

Office Grand Worthy Secre- 
tary, 1895 109 



Offices and Bank, Grand 

Fountain, U. O. T. R 31 

Old Folk's Home 187 

Oliver, Dr. R. L 148 

Ovelton, Lucy J. (Mrs.) 276 

Ovelton, Rexford F 354 

Paige, Mrs. H. B 121, 294 

Parker, J. J 261 

Penn, J. W 360 

Pettigrew, J. A 270 

Peyton, Rev. R. V 312 

Phillips, Miss Addie L 264 

Phillips, Miss Alene E 223 

Phillips, Rev. C. H 145 

Phillips, L. B 109,178, 223 

Phillips, Miss Nannie 405 

Price, A. D 366 

Price, H. H 384 

Puryear, C. A 121, 142 

Quarles, Miss Maude L 354 

Quiett, J. H 324 

Reddick, Charles 357 

Reese, Mrs. Agnes B. 106, 315, 330 

Reese, James 354 

Reese, Sarah J 354 

Reformer Hotel 184 

Reformer Store, Richmond, 

Va 369 

Reid, Miss Mary B 223 

Richardson, Miss Ella 276 

Rivers, B. W 121, 139 

Robertson, J. C 25, 34, 378 

Robertson, Pleasant 414 

Robinson, R. F o7 

Rooks, John A 261 

Ross, Floyd 243 

Rouselle, Maurice 297 

Rowe, Miss Nannie C 121 


Settles, J.. S 270 

Scott, Miss Celestine 276 

Scott, Miss Mary 276 

Scott, Miss Roberta 121 

Shortts, Miss Florence 330 

Singleton, Peter 121 

Smith, Miss Lucinda 223 

Smith, Mrs. M. A. Browne, 

79, 94, 118 

Smith, Dr. W. H 372 

Smothers, Rev. J. S 285 

Smythe, John H 106 

Sommerville, Mrs. N. 1 306 

Stanard, Mrs. L. L 264 

Stewart, Miss Maggie 339 

Store, Reformer's 369 

Sutton, Rev. S. W 160 

Taylor, J. H. M 291 

Taylor, Mrs. Pinkie M..112, 115 

Taylor, Master Samuel 255 

Taylor, T. W 34, 49 

Taylor, Mrs. T. W 190 

Taylor, Rev. William Lee . 10, 34 

Taylor, Mrs. W. L 76 

Taylor, Rev. W. L., Jr 276 

Terrell, Mrs. Mary Church.. 376 

Terrell, Miss Mattie E 112 

Terrell, Judge Robert 381 

Thomas, Rev. I. L 303 

Thompson, Miss Cora L 339 

Thompson, John R 405 

Thompson, Lewis 199 

Thompson, Mrs. Rosa 82 

Truehart, Rev. A. W 181 

Turner, E. W 381 

Vaughan, E. W 109 

Waddell, Mrs. Mamie G 240 

Walker, J. H 321 

Walker, Joseph 360 

Wallace, M. R 121 




Ward, Miss Estelle 223 

Ward, Joseph 327 

Ware, Mrs. Emma J 276 

Washington, D. C, Triangle, 163 

Watkins, H. A 342 

Wells, Rev. Richard. 73 

West, Miss Christine E 264 

White, Congressman George, 387 

White, George W 330 

Whiting, Rev. Z. T 324 

Wilkerson, Miss A. Gustavus, 339 

Willis, Captain 367 

Wilson, Miss M. C 91, 94 


Wilson, W. W 330 

Williams, Britton E 264 

Williams, Miss Columbia... 240 

Williams, Miss Lillian E 276 

Williams, Mrs. M. J 115, 396 

Winters, Prof. H. H 390 

Winters, Mrs. S. J 306 

Wood, Mrs. Sallie Davenport 363 

Woodson, W. S 229 

Wyatt, Thomas H 109 

Wyatt, W. G. L 208 

Young, Mrs. Lou Ella 133 


Many have been the days and long the hours since this work was 
started in 1906, at the suggestion of Rev. W. L. Taylor. It was thought 
by many to be an easy task to gather and compile the incidents and 
doings of the first twenty-five years of the Grand Fountain, but only 
those who have been engaged in such a task can realize the magnitude 
and importance of the undertaking, and it is thus, with a sigh of 
relief, that we lay our pens down after having corrected the last re- 
vised proof. 

Since our Associate Editor, Rev. Dr. D. E. Johnson, left, we have 
had to look after all of the details of this publication, which meant, 
among other things, the revising and sometimes rewriting of our 
manuscript. But, with the able assistance of Mrs. Emily E. Boyer, 
who has worked with us day in and day out, and with Mr. E. W. 
Brown, as proof-reader, we have finished, and we beg to present to the 
Brotherhood and to the public at large, this contribution to Reformer 
literature, with the hope that the world may be made better because 
of its production. 






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